The break-up of the Real department store chain is taking shape: the Cartel Office has approved the takeover of 92 stores by competitor Kaufland. Another chain is also securing some real markets.
The Federal Cartel Office has cleared the way for the breaking up of the ailing hypermarket chain Real. The large-scale discounter Kaufland received the green light from the competition authority on Tuesday to take over up to 92 Real stores. The supermarket chain Globus received approval for the acquisition of up to 24 Real locations, as the competition authority announced.
For Kaufland, it is the largest takeover in the company’s history to date. So far, the company has operated 670 hypermarkets across Germany and, like Lidl, belongs to the Schwarz Group, the largest food retailer in Europe.
Originally Kaufland even wanted to take over up to 101 Real branches. But at nine markets – Bedburg, Heidenau, Hemer, Heidenheim, Brandenburg, Neubrandenburg, Horb, Dülmen and Falkensee – the competition authorities were cross.
In the cases in which the Cartel Office did not cooperate, the competition authorities believe that the alternatives and competition would have been too severely impaired. The takeover of up to 24 Real locations by Globus, on the other hand, is unproblematic according to the competition watchdog. With 47 hypermarkets in Germany, Globus only has a turnover of 4.5 billion euros.
Edeka also wants to take over Real business
Kaufland wants to take over the Real stores step by step from the first quarter of next year. “In the coming months we will integrate the markets and maintain them as regional local suppliers for customers,” said the head of Kaufland Germany, Ralf Imhof. This gave up to 12,000 employees a new professional perspective.
The current Real owner, the Russian investor SCP, had acquired the ailing hypermarket chain with its around 270 stores from Metro in the spring in order to break up and sell it.
In addition to Kaufland and Globus, Germany’s largest grocery retailer Edeka has also registered with the Federal Cartel Office to take over up to 72 Real branches. But the decision of the competition watchdog is still pending. The deadline for a decision was recently extended to February 22 of next year.