GUS acquisition of catalogue rival gets green light
The Office of Fair Trading will not challenge GUS's proposed purchase of rival catalogue retailer Index. In an announcement today, the OFT stated that it 'has decided, on the information currently available, not to refer the merger to the Competition Commission under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002'.

In April, Littlewoods' owners the Barclay brothers confirmed that the retailer was to close 126 Index outlets and sell the remaining 33 to Argos for£44 million. Half of the 66 standalone Index stores will shut by the autumn, with the rest sold to Argos parent GUS, which plans to convert them into its own brand.

The deal is expected to be complete next month and Argos says it intends to convert all the stores within three months of an agreement. Argos will also acquire the Index brand.