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Friday, May 29, 1998 Published at 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK

Business: The Company File

John Menzies takeover gets all-clear

The deal is part of a major re-organisation of WH Smith

Margaret Beckett, the President of the Board of Trade has given her blessing to the £68m takeover of John Menzies by WH Smith.

The Minister made her decision after the Director General of the Office of Fair Trading advised her that the deal did not present any competition concerns.

[ image: The John Menzies name will remain on Scottish stores]
The John Menzies name will remain on Scottish stores
The decision means that WH Smith has now established itself in Scotland, where the stores will keep the John Menzies name.

The rest of Menzies 232 stores in England and Wales will be rebranded with the Smith name.

Job losses as a result of the deal are not expected to be sizeable.

However around 100 staff at the John Menzies head office in Edinburgh have yet to learn their fate, as administration will be taken over by the chain's new parent.

A WH Smith spokesman said: "We will be talking to them about the future and there will be a full consultation."

He said it could be a couple of months before a final decision is taken.

He added: "We are of course delighted by the decision, and look forward to integrating and expanding the two businesses."

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