Asda / Co-operative (Harwich)

OFT closed case: Anticipated acquisition by Asda Stores Limited of one store in Harwich from East of England Co-operative Society Limited and Ardencrest Limited

Affected market: Grocery retailing

No. ME/4714/10


1. Asda Stores Limited (Asda) is one of the UK's largest supermarket chains and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the US retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

2. East of England Co-operative Society Limited (EECSL) operates food retailing, travel, funeral services, optical and pharmacy services. This case involves EECSL's food retailing business. Ardencrest Limited is a subsidiary of EECSL.

3. Asda is to acquire from EECSL and Ardencrest Limited [see note 1] a store at Main Road, Dover Court, Harwich, CO12 3HJ (Target).


4. On the basis of the information available to it, the OFT has decided that the anticipated acquisition of the Target by Asda does not qualify for investigation under the mergers provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act), because neither the UK turnover test nor the share of supply test in section 23 of the Act is met. [see note 2] A relevant merger situation has, therefore, not been created.


note 1. Ardencrest Limited holds the legal title to the property on which the Target is located.

note 2. The share of supply test in section 23 of the Act is not satisfied at the national level, the regional level (East Anglia) or at county level (Essex).

Published 2 November 2010