Friday, November 09, 2018
Karstadt is considered to rescue Kaufhof's last competitor. The merger of two German shop veterans was still anticompetitive. They now appear dispersed.
The Bundeskartellamt does not raise any objection to the proposed merger of Karstadt and Kaufhof. As the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" said, identifying business circles, the authority wants to release them on Friday for the merger of both department stores. There should be no issues. Contrary to expectations, according to "FAZ", the Cartel Office does not want to add a second, detailed exam.
As the "FAZ" reported further, connoisseurs expect to join companies later this month – and so in time for the Christmas business.
The owners of Karstadt and Kaufhof, Signa Holding Austria and HBC, Canada's trading group, announced on 11 September that they would merge the two department store stores. Karstadt Dam Signa is said to hold a share of 50.01 percent in the new joint venture, HBC 49.99 percent.
On 9 October, Signa and HBC announced the proposed merger with the Federal Cartel Office. The agency had one month to inspect but could extend it up to three months. Head of Signa, René Benko, told the "Handelsblatt" that a merger was Kaufhof "rescuing the company". The chain "was in such a frightening state with Karstadt 2014". At the time Benko had taken over Karstadt.
The Verdi union opposed the merger of department store chains and appealed to owners not to cut jobs. There are fears that joining Kaufhof 5000 of around 20,000 jobs could disappear.