Health food specialist Holland & Barrett’s takeover of Julian Graves does not substantially reduce competition in the food and ingredients sector, the Competition Commission has found.

Holland & Barrett, owned by NBTY Europe, had 500 UK stores but as a result of the merger will now trade from 850. Julian Graves was previously owned by failed Icelandic investment group Baugur.

Before the merger, both firms were rivals in the dried fruit, seeds and nuts retail market.

A final report by the Competition Commission confirmed the conclusions of a provisional report, which was published on July 22.