February 14, 2020 / 7:34 AM / 11 days ago

UK's CMA ends probe into Slug and Lettuce pub owner's takeover of Ei Group

Feb 14 (Reuters) - The UK’s competition watchdog said on Friday it will not be referring the takeover of Ei Group by Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate to an in-depth investigation.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had accepted the undertakings given by Stonegate last month, which included selling 42 sites, to address competition concerns.

The CMA last year had started an initial investigation into the 1.27 billion pound ($1.66 billion) merger, a deal which would create Britain’s biggest pub operator, saying it could erode competition.

Stonegate, which is owned by private equity fund TDR, is best known for its Walkabout, Yates and Slug and Lettuce chains. In contrast, Ei runs a disparate range of pubs, often in partnership with landlords and small operators, who tailor their menus and entertainment to cater to local customers. ($1 = 0.7662 pounds) (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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