ACCC backs down on Spar as Franklins candidate

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 11th April 2011

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has reportedly abandoned one of the two potential buyers of grocery chain Franklins it nominated in its court bid to block Metcash from buying the retailer.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday (7 April), The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission no longer puts forward Spar International’s Australian business as a competitive alternative owner of Franklins.

The ACCC told the court that it had abandoned its submissions that Spar was one of two potential purchasers that could bid for Franklins if the retailer’s sale to Metcash was blocked.

The moves are part of the ACCC’s attempts to prevent Metcash’s A$215m (US$226.6m) takeover of Franklins from South African operator Pick n Pay, after deciding that it would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” in the wholesale supermarket supply sector in New South Wales.

The ACCC said the other potential purchaser, the KKK consortium, remained a possibility. It is associated with a number of independent retailers and made a non-binding indicative offer for Franklins of $110m last year.

Metcash is set to present its closing statement on 20 April.

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