grocery deal

Mediation Man Schröder

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If supermarket chain Edeka ends up buying Kaiser’s Tengelmann, it would increase its dominance of the food retail market in Europe’s largest economy. But if the deal collapses, many jobs could be lost.

  • Facts


    • Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Tuesday started to mediate between leading supermarket retailers over the future of the loss-making Kaiser’s Tengelmann chain.
    • If the talks collapse, Kaiser’s Tengelmann may be broken up and its stores sold one by one, putting many of its 16,000 jobs at risk.
    • Edeka wants to buy Kaiser’s Tengelmann but a court has suspended a government decision to permit the takeover pending a court case starting in mid-November.
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Gerhard Schröder and Bert Rürup are aiming to sort out a supermarket deal and prevent job losses. Source: Bützmann for Handelsblatt

Gerhard Schröder, no stranger to tough negotiations, began to mediate on Tuesday between three of Germany’s biggest supermarket chains to thrash out a way of saving thousands of jobs at loss-making group Kaiser’s Tengelmann.

The Social Democrat, who famously intervened to arrange a rescue for construction company Holzmann while he was chancellor, held preliminary talks with all parties in the latest chapter of protracted saga that began with a bid by Edeka, Germany’s largest food retailer, for Kaiser’s Tengelmann back in 2014.

In an agonizing roller-coaster ride for the more 16,000 staff of Kaiser’s Tengelmann, the country’s Federal Cartel Office last year rejected the takeover on the grounds that it would hurt competition, but that decision was overruled this year by Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

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