By  on December 9, 2008

BERLIN — Talks of a possible fusion between Germany’s Karstadt and Kaufhof department store chains are again making the rounds, in light of the recent management shake-up at Karstadt’s parent company, Arcandor.

Both department store groups are facing tough times, though analysts suggest the Metro Group’s 141 Kaufhof department stores, which were put on the block in the spring, are stronger as a group than the 120 Karstadt doors. While Karstadt’s parent Arcandor is beset with financial problems, the announcement last week that Karl-Gerhard Eick would replace Thomas Middelhoff as Arcandor’s chief executive officer on March 1 renewed talk of a possible merger. Eick, who is currently deputy chairman and financial chief of Deutsche Telekom AG, previously worked for Haniel. And Haniel’s ceo, Eckhard Cordes, is also the head of Metro.

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