Czech competition authorities have given Tesco’s purchase of 27 out of 38 Edeka supermarkets the go-ahead, but it remains unclear how long it will be before the transaction is completed, a Tesco spokesperson told just-food yesterday (22 March).

Last November, Edeka announced its intention to exit the Czech market to concentrate on German operations. Competition will continue to exist in the retail market if the German retailer were to hand the majority of its stores over to Tesco, the Czech competition authorities concluded.

“We don’t yet know how long it’ll be before the deal is completed,” a spokesperson for the UK’s biggest retailer told just-food. “We are working on a plan to integrate the stores with our Czech chain at the moment, but I am as yet unable to give an estimate of how long this process will take.”

Before the Edeka deal, Tesco was the fifth biggest supermarket chain in the Czech Republic.