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New Zealand Supermarket Competition Heats Up with Acquisition

SYDNEY - Perth, Australia-based Foodland Associated Ltd. has announced a deal to acquire supermarket chain Woolworths New Zealand Ltd. from Dairy Farm International Ltd. for NZ$690 million ($339 million), the Asia Africa Intelligence Wire reports.

Foodland, which owns supermarket chain Progressive Enterprises, said Woolworths NZ operates 85 stores throughout New Zealand that are complementary to Progressive's existing store network. The deal will lift Foodland's market share to more than 40 percent, while leverage on buying and sourcing will increase competitiveness.

Foodland said that Woolworths NZ's supermarket network will be rebranded and refurbished, while investment in new stores will increase to grow market share.

New Zealand's largest supermarket group, Foodstuffs, said it plans to remain "an aggressive competitor" following the merger of its two competitors.

Some analysts speculate that the acquisition makes Foodland a takeover target, with Tesco and Australia's Woolworths as potential candidates.
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