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Co-op gets thumbs up for Somerfield purchase

Published: 21 October 2008
The Co-operative Group has been given the go ahead by the Office of Fair Trading for its £1.6bn deal to purchase the Somerfield chain.
The deal, which would see the combined businesses take about 8% of the national grocery market, was not deemed to present competition concerns in the sector. Indeed it puts the group in fifth position behind leaders Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

However, the Co-op will have to divest itself of 126 stores in areas where there were specific local competition concerns. Suitable buyers are now being sought for those sites.

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