September 28, 2017 / 7:58 AM / a year ago

Poland's Eurocash faces six month Mila anti-trust wait -watchdog

WARSAW, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Polish trading company Eurocash may have to wait at least six months to get a green light to buy the retail chain Mila for 350 million zlotys ($95.47 million), Marek Niechcial, president of Poland’s anti-monopoly office UOKiK, told Reuters.

“Mila has 180 shops, we have to check whether it does not significantly infringe competition on all local markets. Such a proceeding lasts for at least half a year,” Niechcial said.

Eurocash, which is strong in wholesale, is attempting to strengthen its retail business to compete with bigger foreign competitors such as Germany’s Lidl and Portugal’s Jeronimo Martins.

If the deal potentially infringes competition, UOKiK may ask Eurocash to sell some shops, but another option is also possible, Niechcial said, without providing details.

The anti-trust chief also said that a decision regarding a merger of listed garment makers Vistula and Bytom may take several months, as the deal’s influence on the market needs to be carefully examined. ($1 = 3.6660 zlotys) (Reporting by Pawel Sobczak and Marcin Goclowski; editing by Alexander Smith)

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