Tesco £3.7bn takeover deal given green light by CMA

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY HOLLY WIL­LIAMS

TESCO’S £3.7bn takeover of whole­sale group Booker has been given the pro­vi­sional green light af­ter the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog said it would not lead to higher prices or hit ser­vice for shop­pers.

The Com­pe­ti­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (CMA) said its in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the tie-up found it did not raise com­pe­ti­tion con­cerns de­spite fears raised by a raft of ri­val whole­salers.

The CMA said Tesco and Booker do not com­pete “headto-head” in most ar­eas in which they op­er­ate, in par­tic­u­lar the ca­ter­ing sec­tor, where Booker makes more than 30% of its sales.

Shares in Tesco rose 6% on the an­nounce­ment, while Booker also leapt 6% higher in the FTSE 250.

The CMA’s pro­vi­sional all-clear comes as a sur­prise, fol­low­ing find­ings that raised fears the deal could lead to “worse terms”.

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