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Business News

Asda gets green light on Netto UK

Asda plans to open 168 new stores this year after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it would not refer to the competition watchdog the company's acquisition of the UK arm of the discounter Netto.

The Walmart-owned grocer first unveiled its £778m purchase of Netto UK in May 2010 but it has been unable to proceed with converting the 147 stores until it received regulatory approval.

The OFT's decision not to pass the inquiry to the Competition Commission means Asda can add these stores to its estate, in addition to the 21 stores it will open this year – making it the biggest year of space growth in the grocer's history. The converted Netto stores will trade under the Asda Supermarkets banner and will average 8,000 square feet.