The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has approved the acquisition of the Mestdagh retail business by Intermarché (ITM AB).
In a statement, the BCA said that it 'carried out an in-depth analysis of the competitive situation resulting from this merger in a large number of local markets, taking into account the distance between the sales outlets of the various brands'.
Following this investigation, it determined that the merger 'does not pose any serious risks' relating to competition issues.
Carrefour Franchise Agreement
Currently, the 89 Mestdagh operating across Belgium bear Carrefour Market and Carrefour Express branding, under the terms of a franchise agreement agreed between the two firms, which was terminated at the end of last year.
This franchise contract is set to run until 31 December 2022, following which it will transfer branding to the Intermarché banner.
Increased Store Count
For ITM AB, the move more than doubles its store count in Belgium, where it currently operates 77 outlets.
ITM's proposed acquisition of Mestdagh was first announced in March. Given the European dimension of the transaction, the BCA said that the takeover was first notified to the European Commission, before being referred to the local competition authority.
According to local media reports, Mestdagh sees the granting of approval for the merger as an opportunity to 'create a significant player in Belgium', which will offer shoppers the 'combined strength of both groups'.
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.