The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) announced on 7 June that it had cleared the proposed acquisition by Tesco Ireland Limited (Tesco) of sole control of Patrick C. Joyce Supermarket (Headford) Unlimited Company (Joyce’s), subject to a number of legally binding commitments.
The CCPC’s clearance of the proposed acquisition would see Tesco purchase Joyce’s stores in the Galway area, but the retailer will be required to sell off the Joyce’s Oranmore supermarket to a suitable purchaser.
Following notification to the CCPC in December 2021, the CCPC carried out a preliminary investigation of the proposed acquisition and concluded that a full investigation was required to establish if the proposed transaction could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the State.
The CCPC’s full investigation, which began in April 2022, identified potential competition concerns relating to the provision of goods in the grocery retail sector in the Co. Galway area.
These concerns related to the number of alternative effective competitor supermarkets that would be available to consumers in the Oranmore area following the proposed acquisition.
To address these concerns, Tesco committed to divesting Joyce’s supermarket in Oranmore, Co. Galway as a going concern to a suitable purchaser, who will be subject to CCPC approval.
Tesco has also committed to not carry out any act which may have a significant adverse impact on the supermarket before its sale and to not attempt to acquire the business back for a period of time following its sale. To ensure compliance with these commitments, an independent monitoring trustee will be appointed.
Following detailed consideration, and having taken into account the aforementioned commitments given by Tesco Ireland, the CCPC determined that the proposed acquisition would not substantially lessen competition and that the proposed acquisition could be put into effect.
Working with the Joyce family, Tesco highlighted that it will now move forward to complete the transaction and thereafter begin the process to rebrand and redesign Joyce’s supermarkets as Tesco stores on a phased basis.
Commenting on the decision, Natasha Adams, CEO, Tesco Ireland, said, “As we celebrate 25 years of Tesco in Ireland, the approval of this acquisition is an exciting opportunity to continue to grow our business for the future, bringing great value, quality and a broad range of products and services to the customers and communities of Galway City and County.”