The cartel gives green light: Karstadt and Kaufhof can merge


Former competitors in downtown Düsseldorf.

Former competitors in downtown Düsseldorf.(Photo: imago / Marianne Müller)

Friday 9 November 2018

Karstadt is considered Kaufhof's last rescue. The merger of two German veterans of department stores was still anti-competitive. Now they seem to be scattered.

The Bundeskartellamt does not raise objections to the planned merger of Karstadt and Kaufhof. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said, referring to business circles, the office on Friday wants to release a release for the merger of the two department stores. There should be no editions. Contrary to expectations, according to FAZ, the cartel does not want to add a second, in-depth investigation phase.

As the FAZ says, experts expect mergers later this month – and so early for Christmas.

The owners of Karstadt and Kaufhof, the Austrian company Signa Holding and the Canadian HBC business group, announced on September 11 that they are joining two chains of department stores. The Signa Dam in the new joint venture has a 50.01% share, HBC 49.99%.

On October 9, Signa and HBC announced a planned merger with the federal cartel. The agency had one month to review it, but it could have been extended for up to three months. Chief of Signa René Benko said "Handelsblatt" that the merger was a "Kaufhof rescue" company. The string was "as alarming as Karstadt 2014". At that time Benko took over Karstadt.

Verdi opposed merger of business chains and appealed to owners not to cut the job. There are concerns that around 20,000 jobs could disappear during the Kaufhof 5000 merger.



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