Costcutter’s boss said he was confident its deal to take over Palmer and Harvey’s symbol groups will be approved, after the Office of Fair Trading said it was considering the deal.

Commenting on the decision, Costcutter CEO Darcy Willson-Rymer, said: "The impact on market competition was part of our considerations when completing the deal with Palmer and Harvey and we are therefore confident that the OFT and, should it prove necessary, the Competition Commission will agree with our position. Ultimately, this deal is about bringing together two groups of independent retailers to enable us to get lower prices for all of our members."