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Germany: Regulators approve Karstadt-Kaufhaus merger

 |  November 11, 2018

German antitrust regulators gave their seal of approval to the merger of the Karstadt and Kaufhof department store chains, Bloomberg reported.

The deal transforms two competing department store chains into a single behemoth amid falling sales at big department stores in many western countries. Rising competitive pressure from online retailers was an important consideration, the German agency stated November 9.

The new Karstadt-Kaufhof entity will own a total of 243 department stores in Europe and employ around 32,000 workers. Aside from the locations of the Kaufhof and Karstadt chains in Germany, the merger unites Karstadt’s sportsware stores, the European presence of the outlet chain Saks Off 5th, department stores in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as a range of online retailers.

Kaufhof’s Canadian owner, Hudson’s Bay Company, and Signa Group, the Austrian parent company of Karstadt, have both described the deal as a “fusion of equals”. However, Signa is set to acquire just over half of the shares (50.01%) of the new joint venture and will also become responsible for the operative end of business.

Full Content: Bloomberg
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