New Delhi– The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday approved the acquisition of India’s fourth largest supermarket chain — Aditya Birla Retail Ltd (ABRL) — by Witzig Advisory Services Private Ltd (WASPL) and also the acquisition of 49 per cent of its stake by an Amazon subsidiary.

“CCI approves acquisition of 99.99 per cent of the equity share capital of Aditya Birla Retail Limited (ABRL) by Witzig Advisory Services Private Limited,” the CCI tweeted.

The fair trade regulator also gave approval to NV Investment Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of US online retail giant Amazon, for acquiring 49 per cent stake in Witzig Advisory Services, a joint venture controlled by private equity firm Samara Capital.

“CCI approves acquisition of 49 per cent equity share capital of Witzig Advisory Services Private Limited by NV Investment Holdings LLC,” it said in another tweet.

The twin approvals by the country’s anti-monopoly watchdog comes within a month of Centre tightening the norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce.

On December 26, 2018, the government revised the rules banning the sale of goods produced by an entity in which an e-commerce venture has a stake on its online platform. It also barred e-commerce venture from controlling inventory on its platform.

ABRL is the retail arm of $44-billion Aditya Birla Group. The company is into food and grocery retail sectors under the brand ‘More’ with two formats – Supermarket and Hypermarkets, as per its website.

Currently, it has 532 supermarkets and 20 hypermarkets across India. (IANS)


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