ALL DONE BY THE BOOKER
Competition watchdogs have given supermarket giant Tesco’s £3.7billion takeover of cash-and-carry firm Booker an initial green light.
The Competition and Markets Authority said its investigation into the tie-up couldn’t find a problem, despite fears from rival wholesalers.
The CMA said Tesco and Booker do not compete “head-to-head” in most of their trading areas.
“In particular, Tesco does not supply the catering sector in which Booker makes over 30% of its sales,” the
The finding is surprising given its previous worries over the tie-up.
Booker is the country’s largest wholesaler and owns Londis and Budgens as franchised outlets.
Retail analyst Bruno Monteyne at Bernstein said the deal would make Tesco “not only the biggest grocer in the UK but also one of the fastest growing food retailers for many years to come”.
The focus will now shift to whether investors will approve the takeover.
While 50% of Tesco investors must back it, the threshold is 75% for Booker shareholders.
Shares in Tesco leapt 6.2%, with Booker up a hefty 6.7%, on the back of the announcement.