Handelsblatt Exclusive

Karstadt in €2.9 Billion Bid for Kaufhof

karstadt kaufhof signs dpa
Karstadt and Kaufhof, Germany's largest retail department store chains, could be combined in a defensive consolidation that would change the country's shopping landscape.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If Austrian investor René Benko’s bid for Kaufhof is successful, the link-up with Karstadt would create a new retailing giant on Germany’s high street.

  • Facts


    • Mr. Benko’s €2.9 billion bid for Kaufhof is close to the price sought by Kaufhof’s owner, the Metro Group.
    • Both Kaufhof and Karstadt are struggling with online rivals and changes in consumer habits and would benefit from a merger, analysts said.
    • Kaufhof’s biggest asset is real estate. The chain owns stores in top locations in big German cities.
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The owner of Germany’s Karstadt department store chain, Austrian investor René Benko, has offered €2.9 billion, or $3.23 billion, to buy rival Kaufhof, which is larger in terms of sales, several people familiar with the matter told Handelsblatt.

If successful, Mr. Benko’s takeover of Kaufhof would lead to one of the largest wholesale consolidations in German retailing in recent decades, marrying two of the country’s traditional old-line retailers in a defensive alliance.

The Metro trading group, Germany’s largest listed retailer, which owns Kaufhof, discussed the offer at its supervisory board meeting in early May, the sources said.


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