German chain Rewe has been given permission to acquire most of Lekkerland. The Austrian competition authority however fears that the German supermarket group would gain too much power in the 'on-the-go' segment, particularly in shops at petrol stations.
Power in petrol stations
Two weeks after the German Bundeskartellamt gave its blessing, it would appear that the merger with the food distributor can be completed before the end of the year. A part of Lekkerland's Austrian activities, Convivo, was greenlighted to be acquired by Rewe. Convivo is Lekkerland’s private label branch in Austria.
The takeover will not take place fully though, as the merged entity would have occupied a position that was too big in relation to the Austrian 'on the go' market, in particular in petrol station shops. Lekkerland specialises in the distribution of tobacco products and foodstuffs to petrol stations and kiosks, while Rewe's To Go concept has a presence at 500 Aral petrol stations. These activities now remain in the hands of the current owners.
Rewe's aim is to focus more on convenience stores and outdoors: "Consumption on the move and consumption out-of-home are among the strongest trends in our industry and they will play an even more important role in the future", Rewe CEO Lionel Souque told German newspaper Handelsblatt.