The Competition Council has authorised Carrefour Nederland BV’s takeover of Billa stores, on condition it cedes 3 active supermarkets in Braila and does not get involved in their activity for a period of ten years, according to a press release.
According to the press release, the Competition Council has noted that in the Braila area the takeover could lead to the consolidation of Carrefour’s market position, with the effect of lowering consumers’ choices. In this situation, the transaction could have led to a hike in food prices in the area.
The cession will take the form of a transfer of activity, activity that will continue uninterrupted. The stores will be ceded individually or as a group. At the same time, Carrefour will make due diligence to maintain the economic viability and competitiveness of the activity that will be transferred.
Likewise, Carrefour will have the obligation to put at the Competition Council’s disposal information concerning potential buyers, and to seek the Competition Council’s approval when designating the buyer.
No competitiveness-related concerns have been identified in the other areas analysed, bearing in mind that there are several alternative competitors on those markets, the competition authority points out.
Throughout the transaction analysis process, the Competition Council asked the interested parties to present observations or opinions in relation to both the announced takeover and the commitments that Carrefour proposed.
The Competition Council’s decision will be published on the institution’s website after confidential information is eliminated from it.
According to the agreement, Carrefour Romania will take over 86 Billa stores, representing a total retail surface area of around 83,000 square metres, and will give up on 3 supermarkets in Braila (2 Carrefour Market stores and 1 Billa store). The employees, equipment and entire activity of the 3 supermarkets will be transferred to a different operator.
This takeover will allow Carrefour to consolidate its multi-format offer and its presence in Romania, in order to better serve its clients, becoming the first retailer that has the largest network of supermarkets in Romania.