Competition Commission unconditionally clears the acquisition

The Competition Commission has today unconditionally cleared variety store retailer Woolworths’ completed acquisition of wholesaler Bertram Group.

Woolworths was cleared provisionally in July and today’s decision is likely to bump up the retailer’s share price.

Woolworths’ entertainment subsidiary Entertainment UK bought Bertram for approximately£29 million in January. Bertram is a wholesaler of books and distributor of books to libraries. It is also a primary distributor for small book publishers and supplies to multiple retailers, independent shops and online retailers.

Woolworths chief executive Trevor Bish-Jones said the acquisition is an important step in the development of the group’s entertainment wholesale business. “The acquisition speeds our entry into the Library Servicing sector and provides an international sales base on which to build. The business also has strong positions supporting online retailers of all sizes. The acquisition of Bertram complements the Group’s existing Book distribution capability.”

Woolworths like for like sales for the eight weeks to July 28 were up 3.7 per cent, and were up 0.7 per cent for the full 25 week period.