MEXICO CITY, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Mexico's competition regulator, Cofece, said on Friday that supermarket chain Soriana cannot buy 27 of the stores it planned to take over from rival Comercial Mexicana's operations.
Soriana, Mexico's No. 2 supermarket, agreed in January to buy 160 stores from Comercial Mexicana for 39.19 billion pesos ($2.38 billion).
Cofece said in 27 of the planned purchases, Soriana's acquisition would reduce competition and raise prices for consumers. To win approval of the deal, Soriana must either refrain from buying those 27 stores, or sell them within a set period of time to purchasers approved by the regulator, Cofece said.
The two companies said on Thursday that Mexico's competition regulator had approved the deal, though with conditions, without providing details. ($1 = 16.4709 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov and Christine Murray; Editing by Matthew Lewis)