The Norwegian Competition Authority has announced its endorsement of the proposed business combination between Gresvig, the Norwegian licensee of Intersport, and Sport 1 Gruppen. The two new partners are the largest sports retailers in the country after XXL Sport. As planned, they will form a new common entity, called Sport Holding, equally owned by their respective controlling shareholders, Gjelsten Holding and O.N. Sunde.
The anti-trust authority said it had decided to dismiss a full-scale investigation into the merger after a thorough assessment of the case and after obtaining further information from the parties to the deal. Magnus Gabrielsen, a director of the anti-trust body, said that one important aspect in the case was a study of the alternatives to the merger – or, in other words, what “would most likely happen if the parties were not merged.”
As indicated before, Gresvig has been losing a lot of money. It has already ditched the G-Sport and G-Max banners, and we suppose that it is going to be slimmed down further and restructured to ensure its profitability in the long term. We are waiting to hear details. The two partners have already stated that they intend to keep their former operations separate.