Nov 8 Britain's competition regulator said it
has referred Booker Group's acquisition of Makro
Holdings to the Competition Commission for investigation over
concerns that it may reduce competition between cash-and-carry
outlets in the United Kingdom.
"The merger brings together two close cash and carry
competitors and reduces the number of national operators from
four (Booker, Makro, Bestway and Costco) to three," the Office
of Fair Trading said.
Booker, Britain's biggest cash-and-carry wholesaler with
more than 170 branches, bought Makro - the loss-making British
cash & carry operations of German retailer Metro AG
for 140 million pounds ($223.82 million) in May.
Booker, which supplies caterers, convenience stores,
grocers, restaurants and pubs, said it looked forward to working
with the Competition Commission through the inquiry.
The company also said Makro UK would continue to be held
separate from the rest of company until the inquiry was
Shares in Booker were down 2.5 percent at 101.8 pence at
1513 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday.