Decision Nº M/03/001 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-03-13

PartiesExpress Checkout,Musgrave Group plc
Date13 March 2003
Decision NumberM/03/001
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Decision Date13 March 2003
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/001 of the Competition Authority, dated 13 March
Notification No. M/03/001 – Musgrave Limited / Express Check-out
1. On 12 February 2003 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section
18(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory
basis, of a proposal whereby Musgrave Limited would acquire from Mr Joseph
Nally four supermarkets operating under the SuperValu brand in Kells, Leixlip,
Dunshaughlin and Ashbourne, together with a supermarket development in
Ratoath and an interest in a potential development site in Navan.
The Parties
2. Musgrave Limited (“Musgrave”), the purchaser, is beneficially wholly-owned by
Musgrave Group plc (“the Group”). The principal activity of the purchaser in
Ireland is the wholesale and retail distribution of food and general merchandise
through a franchise/licence arrangement with independent retailers who own and
operate supermarkets under the SuperValu and Centra brand names. The Group
also operates a cash and carry business, selling to independent non-aligned
retailers and traders. The Group has similar businesses in the UK and Spain.
3. Joseph William Nally, the vendor, is the 100% beneficial owner of Express
Check-out, an unlimited company. It acts as a holding company for a series of
limited and unlimited companies which are principally involved in the
supermarket business, operating under the SuperValu brand under franchise from
4. The undertakings involved in the proposed acquisition are Musgrave Limited and
the following target companies (“the targets”) - Lofoten Ltd, Drakenberg Ltd,
Garrich Ltd, Berajan Ltd, Tyven Ltd, and their subsidiaries, Express Check-out
(Kells), Express Check-out (Leixlip), Lobinda Ltd, Express Check-out
(Dunshaughlin), Codami Ltd, Dictamin Ltd, Handby Ltd - which operate the
supermarkets and own the development sites that the purchaser wishes to acquire,
all located in Counties Meath and Kildare.
Horizontal Effects
5. The proposed transaction would result in a vertical merger between an upstream
grocery wholesaling undertaking and a group of downstream grocery retail
outlets. As the only grocery retail outlets in the State owned by the purchaser are
in Galway and South Dublin, there is no horizontal aspect to this transaction.

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