– Matthias Inverardi
Mülheim an der Ruhr (Reuters) – The historic company Tengelmann says goodbye to its supermarkets.
After 15 years of losses in the business, the company pulls the ripcord and sold the Kaiser’s daughter with its 16,000 employees at the Edeka rivals. “This is an extremely painful and sad day,” said chairman Karl-Erivan Tengelmann Haub on Tuesday visibly moved in the Mülheim headquarters. Since 121 years the chain belongs to the family. In the morning he had informed the staff: “As tears flowed.” Freed from the burden of the supermarkets will Haub remove the remaining business of the Group to the Obi-DIY and the textile discounter KiK.
If the cartel give the green light, there would be a further major fusion in the highly competitive German grocery trade, which is dominated by a few companies. A prohibition by the authority Haub threatened with the demise of the chain: “At worst, it leads to a closure of the branches.” The separation of the supermarkets get him a little like a “funeral” before.
In 1971 was Tengelmann Germany’s largest food companies, said the CEO. But the attack of the discounters had Kaiser’s oppose with 451 stores and an annual turnover of around 1.8 billion euros too little. For 15 years, partly also trading under the name Tengelmann supermarkets accumulate losses. Haub was looking for a solution but could not find a partner – not abroad. The sale was “the last, the least desired alternative.” Edeka is to take over the chain with all employees. It was pleased to announce a future perspective the Kaiser’s employees, said Edeka CEO Markus Mosa. The union Verdi called for “full protection” of employees.
With a market share of only 0.6 percent, according to Kaiser’s Haub is too small to keep up with rivals such as Aldi, Lidl, Metro, Rewe Real or daughter to have a chance in the German market. In addition to the Edeka supermarkets is the online subsidiary Tengelmann E-Stores GmbH swallow with the portals Plus.de and GartenXXL.de.
Cartel LOOKING TO CRITICAL
The transaction, which is scheduled to 30 June 2015, on the stage, nor is subject to regulatory approval. Authorities Chef Andreas Mundt pointed out already, the current concentration at the food market is a problem. The Office had made acquisitions in the retail market in recent years under the microscope. Recently it had warned before the large corporations expanding their market power. Edeka, Rewe, Aldi and Schwarz Group with the Lidl markets and Kaufland controlled about 85 percent of the market, Mundt lamented the end of September. The Great against small competitors would have significant benefits when shopping – they can push prices down. Haub is against this background one on an in-depth, four-month examination. By spring he expects a decision, any conditions must then be implemented.
stores the Tengelmann chain not found in the whole republic. Kaiser’s Tengelmann limited the business on the regions of North Rhine, Munich and Upper Bavaria and Berlin and the surrounding areas of the capital. The concentration of Edeka markets there would not “significantly increase” the takeover, Mosa also stressed overlooking the Cartel.
Edeka is one of the top dogs on the market. 2013, the company generated revenues of 46.2 billion euros with 11,600 markets and 327,900 employees. Rival Rewe Group came to 50.6 billion euros. Tengelmann is much smaller. The Group of companies include the DIY chain and Obi Textile Traders KiK. The 2013 financial year had completed the Tengelmann group with a turnover of 7.82 billion euros. Haub has invested in the past, but also in shops away from the traditional retail. Tengelmann holds about five percent of the shares of the online retailer Zalando who went last week to the stock market. Since the placement, however, the shares have lost about 20 percent of its value.
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