Insolvent Arcandor refuses to rule out seeking state aid

City A.M. Reporter
ARCANDOR, the insolvent German retailer and majority owner of travel agent Thomas Cook , may seek further state aid from Berlin, economy minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said yesterday.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is not to be ruled out that there will be another request for state in the proceedings which are still ongoing. That would not be extraordinary and has been the case in other big insolvencies,&rdquo; Guttenberg told the Handelsblatt newspaper.<br /><br />Arcandor chief executive Karl-Gerhard Eick said his company would continue talking to rival retailer Metro about a possible merger of their department store chains but said it would also hold talks with other parties. &ldquo;We will naturally continue to hold talks with Metro on whether this much touted German Department Store Incorporated has any future. But we will seek to hold these talks not only with Metro,&rdquo; Eick said.<br /><br />Handelsblatt, citing sources at the German cartel office, also said any merger between Arcandor&rsquo;s department store chain Karstadt and its counterpart in Metro&rsquo;s Kaufhof would not be a swift one because it would take four months for antitrust authorities to review the deal.