BUSINESS SHORTS

Tesco-Carrefour merger decision postponed

THE TESCO and Carrefour retail chains did not receive a decision from the competition authority on their proposed merger on the Slovak market as expected by the November 20 deadline.

The Anti-Trust Bureau (PMÚ) said it would now rule by January 17, 2007 on the deal, PMÚ spokesperson Alexandra Bernáthová told the SITA news agency.

"This is the final deadline for the office to decide on the merger," she said.

The PMÚ extended the deadline in order to study how the terms and duties in the draft deal submitted by Tesco will affect the market. The deadline for the decision on the takeover of Carrefour's Slovakia outlets by Tesco has already been extended several times.

Under the existing plan, Tesco and Carrefour will exchange units in different countries where they currently operate in order to end their operations in countries where they have small market shares. This should strengthen the positions of both companies in the countries they choose to focus on.

Tesco wants to sell Carrefour six stores and two building sites in Taiwan for €57.4 million, while in return it should receive 15 Carrefour hypermarkets, 11 in the Czech Republic and 4 in Slovakia.

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