Australian wholesaler Metcash plans to proceed with its bid for local grocery retailer Franklins even after its takeover offer for the business was blocked by regulators.

Metcash said today (23 November) that it plans to take “further steps” to proceed with the proposed transaction in at least five days time.

Last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Competition blocked the A$215m (US$203.9m) deal. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel argued the takeover would “result in a substantial lessening of competition through the removal of Metcash’s closest and only genuine competitor for the wholesale supply of packaged groceries in New South Wales”.

Metcash and Franklins owner, the South African retailer Pick n Pay, have extended the cut-off date for a fresh transaction to 30 June next year.