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CMA to rule on Stonegate acquisition of EI Group by February

The £3bn takeover, if approved, will create a company operating around 5,000 pubs in the UK including brands such as Slug & Lettuce

Ei Group PLC - CMA to rule on Stonegate acquisition of EI Group by February

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says it will make a ruling on the acquisition of pub chain EI Group PLC (LON:EIG) by Slug & Lettuce owner Stonegate by 19 February.

The regulator voiced concerns in early December that Stonegate’s £3bn takeover of EI could result in a “substantial lessening of competition” in the market, however, since then it had received several undertakings from Stonegate and said there were “reasonable grounds for believing that the undertaking offered, or a modified version of it, might be accepted”.

READ: Ei Group confident it can address local competition concerns raised by the CMA

While the CMA set itself the 19 February date for a decision, it added that this could be extended to 17 April if there were “special reasons for doing so”.

If the merger is approved it will create a company operating around 5,000 pubs in the UK.

In a statement in response to the CMA announcement, FTSE 250-listed EI Group said: "Our expectation remains that the Acquisition will complete in the first quarter of 2020."

Shares in EI Group were 0.1% higher at 283.60p in early morning deals on Friday.

 -- Adds EI Group statement, updates share price --

Quick facts: Ei Group PLC

Price: 284.6 GBX

LSE:EIG
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.25 billion
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