1. News
May 30, 2022

CMA to probe Morrisons’ McColl’s deal over competition concerns

The regulator will examine if the merger could lessen competition in UK markets.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has decided to investigate supermarket group Morrisons’ acquisition of convenience store chain McColl’s.

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As part of the probe, the CMA will examine whether the deal could ‘substantially’ reduce competition in any markets in the UK.

The watchdog made its initial enforcement order on 25 May, with the launch of the merger inquiry and deadline for the Phase I decision yet to be confirmed.

The order was made in accordance with Section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002.

In its order, the CMA said: “The CMA has reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is or may be the case that Wm Morrison Supermarkets has ceased to be distinct from certain assets of McColl’s Retail Group , Martin McColl, Clark Retail, Dillons Stores, Smile Stores, Charnwait Management, and Martin Retail Group (these assets are collectively referred to as ‘McColl’s’).

“The CMA is considering, pursuant to Section 22 of the Enterprise Act, whether it is or may be the case that a relevant merger situation has been created and whether the creation of that situation has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the UK.”

McColl’s went into administration at the start of this month with a debt of just under £170m ($214.96m).

Morrisons secured the deal to acquire all of McColl’s 1,160 stores, including 270 Morrisons Daily branded stores, in a so-called pre-pack administration, defeating its rival bidder EG Group.

The supermarket chain was purchased by US-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in October last year for £7bn.

Earlier this month, the CMA said that it was considering accepting a proposal from CD&R to sell 87 petrol station forecourts.

The watchdog had been reviewing CD&R’s Morrisons deal over concerns of potentially higher petrol prices across England, Scotland and Wales.

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How attractive are current investment opportunities in Europe?

Europe has been identified as one of the most favorable regions for investors, seeing high investment activity in the past year. Most of these investments have been through Debt Offering, valued at close to $700 billion. The region has provided attractive investments in a diverse set of companies. Companies who tend to major themes such Digital Media, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, E-commerce, and Big Data are recording the highest number of deals, with Digital Media recording close to 2,000 deals. However, GlobalData’s whitepaper offers a full view of the market, analyzing less successful or attractive points of investment as well, examining statistics on Equity Offering investments and PE/VC deals. Understand how government agencies for economies around the world use GlobalData Explorer to:  
  • Track the M&A and Capital Raising volumes into their target market
  • Identify the top sectors in the target market attracting the investments
  • For any investment segment, identify the top Investors inside and outside the target economy that are already investing in the Segment
  • Assess and showcase the growth potential for various Industries in the target economy
Don’t miss out on key market insights that can help optimize your next investment – read the report now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.