Federal Court gives all clear to Metcash/Franklins deal

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st December 2011

The Full Federal Court has upheld a primary Federal Court judgment which allows Metcash to acquire shares in the Franklins chain of supermarkets, from Pick n Pay Retailers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had appealed the earlier Federal Court judgment of Justice Emmett, refusing the ACCC’s application to stop Metcash from acquiring the Franklins supermarket chain. The Full Court has ordered that the ACCC pay Metcash’s legal costs.

Once it has acquired the 80 Franklins stores, Metcash plans to sell them without delay. In a statement released yesterday, Metcash said that the final stages of the sales process are being completed with the last stores expected to be handed to independent retailers in 2012.

Metcash is currently seeking expressions of interest for the purchase of the stores across Sydney and regional NSW.

Chief Executive Officer of Metcash, Mr Andrew Reitzer said, “Backed by Metcash, and in the hands of independent retailers, the stores will enhance competition against the national self supply chains.”

Commenting on the Full Federal Court decision, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said, “The ACCC will closely examine the judgment before commenting further.”

Metcash claims that the addition of the Franklins stores has seen Metcash’s grocery market share in NSW rise from approximately 11 per cent to around 17 per cent.