Booker finally secures cash-and-carry chain Makro

Wholesale group Booker is to finally get its hands on cash and carry chain Makro after the Competition Commission (CC) gave the green light on the acquisition which completed in July last year.

Wholesale group Booker is to finally get its hands on cash and carry chain Makro after the Competition Commission (CC) gave the green light on the acquisition which completed in July last year.

Though the final report on the investigation is not expected until April 24th, the CC "provisionally decided" to approve the acquisition, which values Makro at £140m.

In a statement on Thursday morning, Booker said: "The Commission has reviewed the transaction and provisionally concluded that it does not expect it to result in a substantial lessening of competition at a national or local level."

According to the CC website, the merged company would face "sufficient competition" from other wholesalers.

Simon Polito, the Deputy Chairman of the CC, said: "In all the areas we looked at, Booker would continue to face competition from national, regional or local wholesalers so we don't believe customers will face higher prices, lower-quality service or other issues as a result of the merger."

Shares in Booker surged as much as 5.0% in early trading on Thursday.

After the CC decided the review the transaction in November, Booker had been required to hold the Makro business separate from the rest of company when reporting its results.

In Booker's third-quarter trading update in January, Chief Executive Charles Wilson said that the company is "excited about the opportunities of Booker and Makro coming together with the continuing aim of helping independent businesses prosper in the UK."

The firm admitted that Makro has been "struggling" for the past few years reflected in the "challenging" conditions in the third quarter, albeit in line with its expectations.

"The senior management of Booker and Makro remain confident that, by working together, we will be able to improve choice, prices and service to the caterers, retailers and small and medium sized enterprises that we serve," Booker said.

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