Legislation, Lithuania, Markets and Companies, Mergers and take-overs, Retail

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 25.09.2018, 02:42

Rimi Lithuania proposes to sell some stores to get regulatory OK for Iki takeover

BC, Vilnius, 04.10.2017.Print version
Rimi Lietuva proposes to sell 17 Iki and Rimi stores in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda and Panevezys, accounting for 6% of the two companies' combined chain, to third parties to secure regulatory approval for its planned takeover of Iki, Lithuania's largest grocery chain, informs LETA/BNS.

The company has put forward such commitments to the Lithuanian Competition Council, whose preliminary assessment is that the deal might significantly impede competition.


"In view of the preliminary concentration assessment findings, Rimi Lietuva on Oct. 3 submitted written commitments to the council, proposing to sell a part of the retail trade business," the competition authority said in a press release.


Ola Fernvall, spokesman for Sweden's ICA Gruppen, the owner of Rimi Lietuva, told BNS that the 17 stores were both Rimi and Iki stores. "It's both IKI and Rimi stores, but of consideration of the employees concerned and the process in general, that's all we want to say at the moment," he said.


Iki says that it currently has 231 stores and Rimi Lietuva says it has 56 stores.


According to the Rimi Lietuva proposal, a buyer of the stores will have to be approved by the Competition Council and will have to commit itself to maintaining the business. The buyer will be able to purchase equipment and other assets and to take over the stores' employees.

Rimi Lietuva also commits itself to ensuring that the stores will continue to operate by the close of the deal. Rimi and related companies will not be able to return to the stores for 10 years.


The competition watchdog is due to make its decision on the Rimi-Iki deal by Oct. 18 at the latest. Rimi Lietuva is buying its competitor from Germany's Rewe Group and other shareholders for 213 million euros.


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