EU approves Vendex sale to consortium

The European Commission has given the green light to the acquisition of Dutch group Vendex by an investment consortium, ruling it would not create competition problems.

The consortium comprises US investment fund KKR, owner of retail systems supplier Wincor Nixdorf, Luc Vandevelde-led Change Capital Partners and AlpInvest Partners.

Brussels examined whether Wincor could become too dominant in its niche if it became the sole supplier of tills, printers and credit card terminals to the Vendex group.

However, it believed that because Vendex 'accounts only for a small percentage of the total purchases of such systems' in the whole of the EU, competition would not be harmed.

The Commission also found that, because none of KKR's existing portfolio of companies are retailers, there was no direct effect on the sector.

Vendex operates 1,800 outlets in seven EU countries, with fascias including Dixons, Hema, Bijenkorf, Keur, Praxis, Brico, M&S, Hunkemoller, Dynabyte and Prijstopper.

The chains cover general merchandise, electrical goods, department stores, fashion and DIY stores.