Brussels Refers Lidl-Tengelmann Deal to Bulgaria, RomaniaBusiness | June 29, 2010, Tuesday // 13:37| views
Under the deal, Lidl will control Plus' 96 outlets and more than 2,000 employees in Romania and its 23 outlets and 820 employees in Bulgaria. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The European Commission Tuesday referred the antitrust assessment of German supermarket chain Lidl's plans to acquire German retail group Tengelmann's Plus discount retail stores in Romania and Bulgaria, back to the national competition authorities.
The commission is referring the deal to Romanian and Bulgarian authorities at their request because a preliminary investigation of the deal showed it would affect competition in several local markets for daily consumer goods in Bulgaria and Romania.
Under the deal, Lidl will control Plus' 96 outlets and more than 2,000 employees in Romania and its 23 outlets and 820 employees in Bulgaria. The deal marks the company's entry into the two countries' markets.
German retailer Tengelmann decided at the end of February to sell its discount retail chains in Romania and Bulgaria to its rival Lidl, which is part of Germany's Schwarz retail group.
The price of the deal has not been disclosed.
Tengelman, the parent company of Plus, owns 94 and 16 stores in Romania and Bulgaria respectively.
In 2007 and 2008 Plus sold its business in most European countries. For the last several years the chain has been active in Austria, Romania and Bulgaria, with divisions in those countries in May 2008 united under the name of Plus Eastern Europe.
According to realtors the economic crisis in the past year has proved fertile for the discount retailers stepping on Bulgarian soil in recent months and the country will see their boom in 2010.
Three food discount chains are currently operating in Bulgaria: Kaufland, Penny Market and Plus.
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