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BSS takeover delayed by OFT scrutiny

Northampton-based Travis Perkins’ takeover of rival builders merchants BSS has been delayed by the Office of Fair Trading.

Travis Perkins, which is the main sponsor of Northampton Saints RFC, will have to wait until October 19 to complete its £558 million takeover of builders’ merchants BSS, while the OFT scrutinises the deal.

To complete the process, new court dates will have to be arranged, which could take time. Originally Travis Perkins had hoped to commence the merger under a scheme of arrangement on 22 October, but this might no longer be possible.

The OFT is widely expected to approve the takeover, but the merged organisation might be asked to sell 10 of its combined 1,700 branches to ensure fair trading.

According to the Independent on Sunday, bankers working on the deal have been surprised by the detail requested by the OFT to examine the takeover.