FRANKFURT Oct 6 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)