Break-up Looms

Supermarket Showdown

resized Kaiser s Tengelmann supermarket chain source Oliver Berg DPA 66560802
Time is running out for the supermarket chain.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A break-up of Kaiser’s Tengelmann could reshuffle the supermarket landscape in Germany, giving some players additional market share.

  • Facts


    • Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket chain, launched a takeover bid for smaller rival Kaiser’s Tengelmann in October 2014.
    • The federal antitrust agency recommended against the proposed merger, but Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel approved it. A court later overturned his ministerial approval.
    • Kaiser’s Tengelmann is a privately-owned, loss-making chain which had sought protection in the arms of Edeka.
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It sounded like a pretty simple deal two years ago: Germany’s largest supermarket operator, Edeka, agreed to buy a loss-making and much smaller rival, Kaiser’s Tengelmann.

But it wasn’t to be. The deal has been held up in the air and become something of a political hot potato in Germany, after a federal anti-trust regulator and a court blocked the takeover – against the will of the country’s deputy chancellor.

Time is now running out for the around 450 Kaiser’s supermarket franchises. Their owner, Karl-Erivan Haub, has made plans to break up the group, close numerous locations and cut thousands of jobs, according to people familiar with the matter.

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