September 11, 2018 / 7:38 AM / 10 months ago

Merger of Germany's Kaufhof and Karstadt agreed: sources

A warehouse of the German department store chain Karstadt is seen beside a Kaufhof warehouse in Duesseldorf September 8, 2014. REUTERS/ Ina Fassbender

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Germany’s two major department store chains Kaufhof and Karstadt will merge, several people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, as the companies seek to respond to fierce competition from ecommerce players.

Canada’s Hudson’s Bay (HBC.TO), which bought Kaufhof in 2015, has agreed to a joint venture with Austria’s Signa Holding, which owns Karstadt, the sources said.

A statement is to be issued by the companies later on Tuesday, they added.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, Writing by Emma Thomasson and Tassilo Hummel, Editing by Maria Sheahan

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