German retailer Rewe has signalled its interest in the Plus discount chain, should the country's competition regulator block the sale to local rival Edeka.

Rewe was involved in talks with Plus owner Tengelmann before Edeka struck a deal to acquire the chain, a spokesperson for Rewe told just-food.

"A few weeks ago we talked with Tengelemann about Plus, but Tengelman decided to sell Plus to Edeka," the spokesperson said.

"Now the German anti-trust office will decide if the deal is perfect or not. If the office stops the deal Rewe is prepared to start talking about Plus," the spokesperson said.

Representatives of Edeka and Tengelmann will meet at the Federal Cartel Office today (28 April) to argue their case for a merger between Edeka's discount supermarket chain Netto and Tengelmann's Plus.

The authorities have expressed a reluctance to approve the planned merger, fearing anti-trust problems. The deal would create Germany's third-largest discount retailer after Lidl and Aldi.