Norwegian foodservice group Narvesen and retailer Rema 1000 have announced that their boards of directors have agreed to propose to shareholders a full merger of the two groups to form Reitan Narvesen ASA , a foodservice and wholesale group with a combined turnover of NKr20bn.Both companies are controlled by large shareholders and, according to information provided at a press conference in Oslo, owners controlling 66.4% of the two groups have already agreed to the proposed merger. A two-thirds majority is required for the plans to go through, which means that the merger is practically already approved.The new group will operate in seven countries, employing 17,000 people in 2,160 brand-name outlets. The core business will be to operate food chains and foodservice chains and related wholesale businesses, helped by the substantial purchasing powers the group will gain. Odd Reitan, owner of Rema 1000, explained: "This is a strategic move that will give us further leverage with the great number of our brand products. Within trade and foodservice we will continue to strenghten our positions both in Norway and abroad.""It´s two companies which together will have exciting opportunities. We complement each other in the market and have different relations to the customers," said Harald Tyrdal, managing director of Narvesen. In Norway, Narvesen also operates foodservice operations in chains such as