Regulator clears Holland & Barrett acquisition of Julian Graves

LONDON - Holland & Barrett's planned acquisition of independent specialist food and ingredients retailer, Julian Graves, has been provisionally approved by The Competition Commission.

Regulator clears Holland & Barrett acquisition of Julian Graves

The merger was referred to the CC by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on 20 March 2009.

If the acquisition is officially passed it will create a chain of 850 stores across the UK. Health products retailer Holland & Barrett currently has over 500 stores.

Diana Guy, Chairman of the Inquiry Group said: ‘As a result of the merger, Holland & Barrett and Julian Graves will come under common ownership but the competition from other retailers of nuts, seeds and dried fruit will continue. As a result, we did not believe that the merger would give rise to any significant detriment to consumers.'

Views on the provisional findings are invited by 12 August 2009. After this date a final ruling will be made.

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