Metcash not ready to abandon Franklins buy

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 23rd November 2010

Metcash and Pick n Pay, owner of the Franklins supermarket chain, today announced that they have agreed to extend the cut-off date for the proposed sale of the chain to Metcash. Metcash announced that it will “take further steps to proceed with the proposed transaction”, despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s opposition of the sale.

The ACCC opposed the sale of the supermarket chain to Metcash on the grounds that it would create a monopoly on wholesale supply of supermarkets in New South Wales. Metcash had planned to sell the supermarkets to independant retailers under the IGA brand, which it supplies.

While it is not clear what action Metcash will take, the company has stated that it will act this week to try to get the purchase approved.

When the possibility of an ACCC block on the sale became likely, Pick n Pay began activating a back-up plan to sell the Franklins supermarkets individually or in small groups to tender, but has previously stated that the Metcash option is its preferred option.