The European Commission, acting under the Merger Regulation, has cleared the proposed acquisition of the retailer Hyparlo by the supermarket group Carrefour.
The Commission has concluded that the deal will not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in any substantial part of it. The Commission also concluded that the merger would not result in any change in the competitive situation in France, either in the retail or wholesale supply markets of products such as household cleaning products, foodstuffs and perishable products.
Hyparlo operates stores under a franchise agreement with Carrefour in France and Romania. Since 2000, the Hyparlo hypermarkets have been an integral part of the giant Carrefour group and already obtain virtually all of their supplies from Carrefour’s central purchasing units.
In January 2005, Carrefour took a 50% stake in Hofidis ll, which owns 57.7% of Hyparlo, in addition to its existing 20% direct holding in the company, which remained unchanged.
However, in September 2005, the Court of Appeal in Paris ruled that Carrefour should make a further offer for the entire share capital of Hyparlo in conjunction with the retailer’s other principal shareholder the Arlaud family. The Arlaud family subsequently decided it would not participate in the purchase and before the offer was launched in December 2005, Carrefour acquired the Arlaud family’s participation in Hofidis ll.