Lithuanian Competition Authority stops Rimi Baltics acquisition of UAB Palink
Doubts the buyers' competitiveness and long-term commitment to each store.
In October 2017, the Lithuanian Competition Authority granted approval for Rimi Baltics acquisition of UAB Palink, which runs the IKI retail chain, provided that 17 designated stores were to be divested before the transaction was completed.
However, the Authority has now decided not to approve the store sales agreement proposed. The decision means that Rimi Baltic cannot complete the acquisition of UAB Palink.
The Authority disapproves of the agreement because they are in doubt about the buyers' competitiveness and long-term commitment to each store.
Surprised and disappointed
"We are surprised and disappointed about the decision. We have carefully reviewed the market to find all possible stakeholders for the stores and we have submitted several alternative proposals for agreements with the Lithuanian Competition Authority, with four different possible buyers. All of these have previously been approved by a Trustee appointed by the Competition Authority to assess the buyers and the agreements, "said Per Strömberg, President of the ICA Group.
"Lithuania remains an important market for the ICA Group and we will now go back to our previous focus on organic growth," he says.
In December 2016, the ICA Group signed through Rimi Baltic agreement to acquire UAB Palink, which operates the IKI retail chain with 232 stores in Lithuania.