February 15, 2018 / 9:29 AM / in 8 months

Aldi's two separate arms looking at closer cooperation - Manager Magazin

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The two separate arms of Europe’s leading discount retailer Aldi are considering stepping up cooperation, a German monthly reported on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A woman picks up a basket at the Aldi store in Atherstone, Britain February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples/File Photo

The two companies, Aldi Nord and Aldi Sued, are discussing jointly procuring some goods, and in a second step merging their procurement units, Manager Magazin reported, citing minutes from a November management meeting.

Aldi, owned by one of Germany’s richest families, was separated along geographical lines into two firms in 1961, each lead by one of the Albrecht brothers.

According to the report, Aldi Nord and Aldi Sued are also discussing harmonising functions such as quality control, corporate responsibility, advertisement and logistics and eventually even merging.

Law firms Gleiss Lutz and Schmidt, von der Osten, Huber are examining potential antitrust matters, the report said.

Aldi Nord and Aldi Sued said in a joint statement they were continuously optimising cooperation. “This is an ongoing process that we have been intensifying for years,” they said. “A merger is not planned or anticipated as a result of the cooperation or as a result of other considerations.”

The law firms were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Adrian Croft and David Holmes

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