Rewe takeover of Plus stores approved in Germany
The German antitrust body, Bundeskartellamt, has unconditionally approved Rewe Group’s takeover of 328 Plus stores from Tengelmann in Germany. The stores are part of approximately 380 outlets of which the authority demanded that they be sold to a third party, rather than Edeka, due to concerns about regional market dominance. Meanwhile, Edeka continues to wait for the final approval of its acquisition of a majority stake in the remaining German Plus network of around 2,300 outlets. Rewe Group, which had launched an unsuccessful bid for the entire Plus network last year, said the acquisition will drive its number of Penny stores up to 2,400 stores in Germany with sales of EUR7.6 billion (USD10.9 billion), up from EUR6.6 billion (USD9.5 billion). Rewe also said it is planning to convert all Plus stores to Penny by March 2009. The regulator has not yet cleared Edeka’s purchase of the remaining outlets and is in final talks with the companies, a spokeswoman for the cartel office said. “We are expecting a final decision by the cartel office in December,” Edeka said. Netto and all the Plus stores will make Edeka the country’s third-largest discount operator after Aldi and Schwarz Group's Lidl.
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