The government of Puerto Rico will try to stop US retailer giant Wal-Mart acquiring a local supermarket chain for a reported US$225m.

Wal-Mart hopes to acquire the 35 stores owned by Supermercado Amigo, which together employ some 4,500 workers.

Justice Secretary Anabelle Rodriguez said yesterday [Thursday] that the deal would contravene the island state’s antitrust legislation. The government plans to head for the courts to overturn Wal-Mart’s planned purchase.

Wal-Mart Puerto Rico spokesman Federico Gonzalez Denton said that the news was “disappointing,” adding that he believed all legitimate antitrust concerns related to the purchase had been overcome.