Independent Australian food and grocery group FoodWorks has received approval from the competition regulator for the purchase of 45 supermarkets and eight associated Liquorland outlets from Coles Group.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the relevant supermarket and liquor retail markets and in the relevant wholesale and procurement markets.

"In areas where FoodWorks already has a member supermarket, there would be at least one, and in the majority of cases, two or more, competing full-line supermarkets to the merged firm," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel advised in a statement today (21 July).

Coles said last month that the sale of the stores was a key part of their store network overhaul plans.

"The transaction is part of our broader plans to improve and invest in the overall store network and is an important step in the Coles turnaround," Coles MD Ian McLeod said.

"As a result of a comprehensive review of our entire supermarket portfolio we selected these 45 stores for transfer because they're unlikely to meet our future store network plan due to their size, location, format or other factors."

Australian Food News is Australia's leading resource for the food industry, delivering daily news from the grocery, retail and hospitality sectors to 40,000 professionals each month. http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/