By Aimee Chanthadavong

Grocery wholesaler Metcash has responded to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) Statement of Issues on its proposed acquisition of the Franklins chain.

“Metcash looks forward to working with the ACCC throughout the next phase of the process and remains confident of a positive outcome,” a Metcash spokesperson told Retailbiz.

Last month, the consumer watchdog raised concerns that the acquisition of Franklins’ wholesale and retail business could reduce competition in the wholesale grocery market.

Metcash has also acknowledged that Franklin’s South African parent company Pick ‘n’ Pay wanted to exit the business due to years of losses.

“Metcash has agreed with Pick n Pay to extend the cut off date under the sale agreement relating to the acquisition of the Franklins chain of supermarkets until 30 November 2010,” the spokesperson said.

The ACCC expects to make its final decision on November 11.