January 10, 2018 / 5:19 PM / a year ago

French watchdog clears Galeries Lafayette's buy of La Redoute

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s competition authority on Wednesday approved plans by upmarket department store chain Galeries Lafayette [GALP.UL] to buy online fashion and homeware retailer La Redoute in a deal that will accelerate its digital expansion.

The antitrust clearance means the new group will have combined sales of 4.5 billion euros, which the group expects to climb to over 5.5 billion by 2020 with 30 percent coming from online.

In September 2017, Galeries Lafayette said it would buy an initial 51 percent stake in La Redoute, and would aim to own 100 percent in the future, in a deal that would deliver cost-savings and boost its digital businesses, to better compete with online retail giants such as Amazon (AMZN.O).

“The review by the Competition Authority ruled out any competition issue resulting from the operation,” the statement said.

In addition the new group will face “important competitive pressure” from the main retail players present on all the markets concerned by the deal, it said.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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