BAWAG has reportedly started the formal procedures for the sale of Stiefelkönig, Austria’s second-largest shoe retailer, to the highest bidder. The divestiture is expected to take place by next summer. The union-owned bank denied a press report that it had set a minimum asking price of €60 million. The report in the Austrian magazine Forum indicated that the chain is expecting a profit of €2.8 million this year, up from €475,000 in 2007 on sales of €140.2 million. Trading under different banners and acting as franchisee for several Geox shops, the chain has a total of 62 stores in Austria, five in Slovenia, four in Croatia and two in Slovakia.