FRANKFURT, Oct 6 (Reuters) - A group of German retailers have agreed to drop a legal challenge to Edeka’s takeover of loss-making Kaiser’s Tengelmann, possibly securing jobs at the chain, trade union Verdi said on Thursday.
Unlisted supermarket chain Edeka’s takeover was initially blocked by Germany’s antitrust regulator, but the decision was overridden by economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, who cleared it on condition that no jobs were lost in the merger.
The minister’s special permission was, however, nullified by a German court after a legal challenge by rival retailers.
Kaiser’s Tengelmann boss Karl-Erivan Haub warned all the chain’s 16,000 jobs were at risk if he was blocked from selling to Edeka, prompting talks involving trade union and grocery industry leaders over the deal.
Trade union Verdi said the participants had agreed in principle to drop their opposition to the deal but that a final agreement should be hammered out by Oct. 17. (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Alexander Smith)