Competition Tribunal signs off on Mr Price’s R3.3bn acquisition of Studio 88

Approves the deal with no conditions.
The Studio 88 store at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga. Image: Supplied

Branded leisure, sporting apparel and footwear retailer Studio 88 is now officially part of the Mr Price stable as the deal has been given the green light from the Competition Tribunal to proceed without conditions.

The tribunal revealed its decision on the R3.3 billion acquisition on Tuesday in a statement, meaning that clothing and homeware retailer Mr Price can now conclude the deal.

“The Tribunal has unconditionally approved the large merger wherein Mr Price Group Limited intends to acquire sole control over the business of Blue Falcon 188 Trading (Pty) Ltd trading as Studio 88,” the authority said.

“Following the implementation of the proposed transaction, Mr Price will solely control Studio 88.”

The Competition Tribunal noted that the deal is “unlikely to result in any substantial prevention or lessening of competition”.

“In addition, there are no public interest concerns.”

Read: Mr Price in another surprise acquisition, secures R3.3bn controlling stake in Studio 88

The JSE-listed retailer first announced its intentions to acquire Studio 88 in early April 2022, citing the retail store’s diverse product offering, extensive presence in different locations, and its highly cash-generative business model as some of the main reasons behind its pursuit of the business.

Expansion drive

Mr Price Group has in the last two years been on a robust expansion path which has seen it diversifying its portfolio by acquiring major stakes in upmarket home retailer Yuppiechef and value fashion retailer Power Fashions.

The group’s purchase of Yuppiechef – for R470 million – placed it in a good position to compete with TFG’s upmarket homeware store @home, while its Power Fashions buy was a clear move to take on JSE-listed Pepkor’s Pep.

Mr Price Group also owns Miladys and Sheet Street, as well as its sport and home offerings Mr Price Sport and Mr Price Home. The group has also branched out into offering private store label credit services under the name of MrP Money.

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