GERMANY - Mercer Germany's Frankfurt-based operation and German pension consultant Höfer Vorsorge-Management are discussing a possible merger.

A spokeswoman for Mercer in Frankfurt today confirmed the merger discussions, adding they are in line with Mercer's general expansion plans in Germany, but stressed no deal has been made yet.

She also confirmed both firms have approached the German federal cartel office earlier this month to test whether any factors could bar a possible deal.

However, German media has contradicted this statement since IPE published its story at 14:00 CET, and stated Höfer has today confirmed today the cartel office does not object to the deal adding the two parties plan to finish the merger by the year's end.

A merger with Höfer, the last remaining independent German corporate pension consultant, will close the gap between Mercer, which employs 330 staff in Germany, and rival firm Watson Wyatt.

In July, Watson Wyatt completed its acquisition of Heissmann, Germany's leading pensions actuarial and pensions consulting firm with 360 employees and annual revenues of above €50m.

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