The future of Karstadt owner Arcandor remains unclear after rival group Metro proposed that it acquire and merge Karstadt’s stores with its own Kaufhof fascia.

But Arcandor chief executive Karl-Gerhard Eick remains confident of a state-backed solution after lobbying for a €650m (£564m) loan. Arcandor argues that Metro’s idea could cost up to 10,000 of Karstadt’s 25,000 jobs but Eick has agreed to merger talks with Metro chief executive Eckhard Cordes.