Switzerland's biggest food retailer Migros has a green light to take a 70% share in Swiss discounter Denner, subject to some strict conditions.

Denner's sales last year were worth CHF 2bn through 450 outlets and its 280 rural 'satellites'.

The Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) has imposed a number of seven-year terms to the deal, which leaves 30% in the hands of Denner's CEO Philippe Gaydoul through a holding company. Migros will undertake to preserve Denner's autonomy in buying and stocking policy, as well as its visual identity.

The board will not have a Migros-nominated majority, nor will Migros be allowed to acquire any other Swiss food retailer. Nor will the co-operative be allowed to open any M-Budget discount stores during the next three years.

There is also a seven-year ban on sharing any buying from Swiss SME suppliers, nor may Denner buy any Migros-made products from the co-operative's extensive manufacturing arm, even if Migros can supply them more cheaply.

Operating exclusively within Swiss market, Gaydoul needed to find a long-term strategy that would give him buying power abroad and stay competitive. The Migros link will give Gaydoul access to international suppliers.