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MERGERS: AMO SR approved the merger of the undertaking SIGNA Holding GmbH and the undertakings of the economic group KIKA/Leiner Group

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On 25 July 2018 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, the Division of Concentrations (hereafter "the Office") approved the merger grounded in the acquisition of indirect sole control of the undertaking SIGNA Holding GmbH, Innsbruck, the Republic of Austria over twelve undertakings of the economic group KIKA/Leiner Group in the decision´s statement (one of the acquired companies is also the Slovak company Sigma Properties Slovakia, s.r.o., Bratislava) and their subsidiaries including the Slovak companies Kika Nábytok Slovensko, s.r.o., Bratislava and IMV kika Slovensko, s.r.o., in liquidation, Bratislava.

According to the merger notification, the economic group SIGNA has two divisions: SIGNA Retail (retail division) and SIGNA Real Estate (real estate division).
The company SIGNA Retail operates in retail sale, especially in Germany. It operates in particular the "Karstadt" department stores, which offer a wide range of products including electrical equipment, clothes, toys, watches, jewels, perfumes or sporting goods and, to a lesser extent, also furniture and household equipment. However, the sale of these products does not constitute the core activity of the SIGNA Retail division and these products are sold only in Germany. In addition, the company SIGNA Retail operates in the field of retail sales of sportswear and sports equipment through "Karstadt Sports" stores and several online stores including In the Slovak Republic it operates only marginally in the field of internet sales of sports fashion/footwear.

The division SIGNA Real Estate focuses on purchasing, renting and managing land and buildings and also on building and realizing developers’ projects. It owns properties in city centres, mainly in Austria and Germany and, to a certain extent, also in Italy. It does not operate in the Slovak market.

According to the merger notification, the acquired companies listed in this decision belong to the group KIKA/Leiner and operate 46 furniture outlets in Austria and some Eastern European countries; 5 of retail outlets are in Slovakia. They also own a number of properties that have their furniture outlets and which generate limited revenues on the basis of lease agreements with third parties.
After evaluating all the documentation and information acquired and given that no horizontal overlap nor vertical link between the participants to the merger were identified in the territory of the Slovak Republic, the Office concluded that the merger assessed is in line with the Article 12 Paragraph 1 of the Act on Protection of Competition, as it would not significantly impede effective competition on the relevant market, in particular as a result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position.
The decision came into force on 27 July 2018.