UK grocery retailer Somerfield has said it has decided to withdraw its appeal against the findings of the Competition Commission that there has been a substantial lessening of competition at 12 of the 115 stores the company acquired from rival Wm Morrison.

The company said it was acting in consultation with the board of Violet
Acquisitions, the bid vehicle consisting of Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and the Tchenguiz Family Trust that recently agreed terms of a takeover bid for Somerfield that values the UK grocery retailer at £1.08bn (US$1.90bn).

Somerfield said the "substantial lessening of competition" element of the appeal has been withdrawn for commercial reasons connected with the prospective acquisition of Somerfield.

"The appeal against the direction to divest specific stores rather than any store within the relevant catchment and against the restriction imposed on the category of retailers to which the stores may be divested continues," Somerfield said.

Somerfield bought the stores from Morrisons last October in a deal worth around £260m.