UK Regulator May Accept Vision Express Remedies to Approve Tesco Opticians Buy

By Ian Walker Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday that remedies offered by Vision Express (U.K.) Ltd. to satisfy the regulator's concerns over the company's acquisition of Tesco Opticians may be sufficient to allow the deal to go ahead.

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The regulator now has until Dec. 7 to decide whether to accept the undertakings, but can extend this until Feb. 6, 2018, if it believes there are special reasons for doing so.

Tesco PLC (TSCO.LN), the U.K.'s number one grocer by market share, announced in April that it was selling its optical business in the U.K. and Republic of Ireland to Vision Express for an undisclosed sum, subject to CMA approval.

However late last month, the CMA said it believed the deal could lead to a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the U.K. and sought remedies to address this situation.

On Oct. 5, Vision Express offered to sell a Vision Express store in each of the three local areas in which competition concerns were identified.

The CMA said Wednesday that it had considered the undertakings offered and believed there to be reasonable grounds for these, or a modified version, to be accepted to remedy the competition issues identified.

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Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com; @IanWalk40289749

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 11, 2017 02:50 ET (06:50 GMT)