Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tesco set to complete £3.7bn Booker takeover after being given the all-clear by CMA

Tesco is set to buy Booker for £3.7 billion. Credit: PA

Tesco's £3.7billion takeover of wholesale group Booker has been given the green light by the competition watchdog, who said it would not lead to higher prices or impact on service for customers.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the deal would not raise competition concerns despite concerns raised by rival wholesalers.

Tesco and Booker do not compete "head-to-head" in most areas, notably the catering sector where Booker makes 30 per cent of its sales, the CMA's report said.

In addition, the impact on stores such as Premier, Londis and Budgens, which are supplied by Tesco, would not be affected as supermarket cannot have any direct influence.

Booker is set to be sold. Credit: PA

Simon Polito, chair of the CMA's inquiry group, said: "We have carefully listened to feedback from retailers and wholesalers who operate in what are highly competitive UK retail and wholesale sectors.

"Retailers have told us that they shop around for the best prices and service from their wholesaler, and we are confident that this will continue after Tesco buys Booker."

He added it had been an "important investigation".

"Millions of people use their local supermarket or convenience store to buy their groceries or essentials, so it is vital that they have enough choice to secure the best deal for them. Having examined the evidence in depth, we are satisfied this will remain the case following the merger," he said.

Tesco and Booker welcomed the decision and said the deal is now expected to complete next March.