The UK’s competition authority has granted unconditional approval of the Co-op Group’s acquisition of Nisa, with the deal set to complete around 8 May.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the proposed merger did not raise competition concerns so it has not referred the deal for an in-depth investigation.
Nisa chairman Peter Hartley said: “Today’s ruling by the CMA is excellent news, and a significant step towards finalising the transaction that our members voted for last November.
“We are very excited about our future together which will help ensure that our members are best placed to serve their communities.”
Co-op Retail ceo Jo Whitfield said: “We’re delighted with the CMA decision and are really excited about sharing our plans for the future once we gain Court sanction.
“Our strategy is to get closer to communities and our new business will create a strong product offer and improved prices for Nisa members that will engage their shoppers across the UK.”
Explaining the decision, the CMA’s senior director of merger, Sheldon Mills, said: “Millions of people throughout the UK shop at convenience stores and supermarkets, and it is vital that they continue to have enough choice to get the best value for them.
“After careful consideration, we’ve found that there is sufficient competition in both the wholesale and retail sectors to ensure that shoppers are not worse off.”
Nisa members voted in favour of the proposal in November 2017.
Meanwhile, the Co-op is expected to roll out its exclusive supply partnership with Costcutter next month.
A Costcutter spokesperson said: “We welcome the decision by the CMA. The transaction remains subject to Court sanction and we look forward to sharing our plans once the Co-op’s deal to buy Nisa is completed.”