The Bundeskartellamt has authorized the Rewe Group to acquire the wholesaler Lekkerland. The agency had no objections after the survey of more than 120 market participants and released the proposed acquisition.
"In wholesale of food Rewe and Lekkerland come together only on harmless market shares of less than ten percent," said Antimonopoly President Andreas Mundt.
Above all, the Lekkerland Group supplies petrol stations and kiosks with tobacco products and foodstuffs. Their turnover in 2018 was about three billion euros in Germany and five billion euros in Europe.
The retail cooperative Rewe is also present at some gas stations with markets. As part of its Rewe To Go concept, the Group supplies around 500 Aral petrol stations with food. But this is still a rather small business for Rewe.
Rewe wants to strengthen on-the-go supply
The acquisition aims to strengthen the Group's footprint in the supply of customers shopping on the go. "On-the-go consumption and eating-out are among the strongest trends in our industry and will play an even more important role in the future," said Rewe boss Lionel Souque in announcing the plans in May.
Antitrust President Mundt said that although the two companies are "by far the strongest supplier" in the supply of filling stations, "the strong buying power of the large oil companies limits the room for action and pricing". Even for small and medium petrol station operators, there are sufficient alternatives.
Also in the relationship between Rewe and the food manufacturers, the competition watchers see the merger, no serious deterioration of the situation. Although Rewe is already one of the three largest customers in the industry today. But the growth by Lekkerland remains low at less than 0.5 percent.
According to the Cartel Office, both companies together achieved a turnover of 40 billion euros in 2018. For other European markets, the European Commission approved the takeover already in August.