London: The owners of the Geant Hypermarket chains in the Middle East are planning to sell a controlling stake in a deal which could fetch about $500 million (Dh1.84 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

The business, which is a franchise of French grocery retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA operated by Dubai-based BMA International Group, has appointed BNP Paribas SA to advise on a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Advisers have contacted potential bidders, which are likely to be large, family-owned companies in the region as well as private equity firms, the people said. No final agreements have been reached and sale talks may still falter, they said.