May 5, 2014 / 2:05 PM / 5 years ago

Mexico's Alsea cleared to buy Walmex's Vips restaurant chain

MEXICO CITY, May 5 (Reuters) - Mexican restaurant operator Alsea said on Monday it received regulatory approval to purchase retailer Walmex’s Vips restaurant chain, with the deal set to be finalized in the coming days.

Alsea, which runs Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks and Burger King franchises in Mexico, agreed to buy Walmex’s 361 restaurants in September for 8.2 billion pesos ($630.85 million).

The transaction had been held up by Mexico’s competition watchdog, which made the deal conditional on Alsea providing information about exclusivity agreements with the malls in which it operates, and eliminating 54 exclusive clauses in contracts with malls.

Alsea said the deal would initially be financed with a long-term 3 billion peso bank loan, and a 12-month bridge loan of 5.2 billion pesos.

“Alsea and Walmex estimate that the deal will be finalized in the coming days,” Alsea said in a statement.

Alsea shares were down 1.27 percent at 44.2 pesos, while Walmex shares were up 0.47 at 32.39 pesos in early trading. ($1 = 12.9982 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Paul Simao)

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