The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today formally cleared the anticipated acquisition of 99p Stores Ltd (99p Stores) by Poundland plc (Poundland). This confirms the CMA’s provisional findings, published in August. 99p Stores and Poundland are both value general merchandise retailers, operating a combined network of approximately 800 UK stores. Frontier (Europe) advised Poundland throughout the CMA’s merger investigation.
The CMA referred the case to a Phase II investigation in April 2015. The transaction raised competition concerns in 80 local areas where 99p Stores and Poundland overlap, and in a further 12 local areas where the Parties’ future plans would give rise to additional overlaps. However, the Phase II review has formally concluded that the merger will not give rise to a substantial lessening of competition. This is because the merged entity will continue to face competition from a range of other retailers, and will not have an incentive to worsen its offer at either the national or local level.
Frontier (Europe) regularly advises companies and regulators on competition and retail issues.
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