February 13, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau announced today that it has approved the sale by Sobeys Inc. of 22 grocery stores to Overwaitea Food Group LP and Federated Co-operatives Limited. These stores are being sold pursuant to an October 2013 Consent Agreement that requires Sobeys to sell a total of 23 grocery stores to remedy the Bureau’s competition concerns relating to Sobeys’ proposed acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Canada Safeway. This Agreement was designed to ensure that Canadian consumers continue to benefit from competitive prices for a wide selection of grocery products.
The Bureau expects the remaining Sobeys grocery store (Price Chopper Stafford Square in Winnipeg) to be sold in accordance with the Consent Agreement.
The Bureau also reviewed the purchase of seven additional Sobeys stores by Overwaitea Food Group LP and issued a No Action Letter in respect of the purchase of these stores. These seven stores were not part of the October 2013 Consent Agreement.
Overwaitea Food Group LP is Canada’s largest Western-based food store chain and operates more than 120 stores under the Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods, Cooper’s Foods, Urban Fare, PriceSmart Foods and Bulkley Valley Wholesale banners.
Federated Co-operatives Limited is owned by 225 retail co-ops that operate a number of food stores and four distribution centres in Western Canada.
- Mergers in Canada are subject to review by the Bureau under the Competition Act to ensure that they will not result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition.
- The merger review process involves collecting information from, and conducting interviews with, a wide range of industry participants, including the parties, suppliers, competitors, customers and industry experts, to assess the competitive impact of the merger.
"By ensuring that Canadians have access to a variety of grocery retailers, consumers will continue to benefit from competitive prices for a wide selection of grocery products."
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