Finnish retailer SOK is purchasing 92.3% of Spar Finland from Sweden’s Axfood and other shareholders, reported Reuters news agency.

SOK told the news agency it plans to make a mandatory offer of EUR50.00 (US$60.69) per share for the rest of Spar and hopes to complete the deal within the first six months of 2006.

According to Reuters, SOK, led by Kesko and S Group, have struggled with slow growth and mounting competition, especially since Germany’s Lidl entered the Finnish market in 2002.