* Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, said on Thursday it won regulatory approval to buy local drugstore chain New-Pharm Drugstores.
* Shufersal in April said it had agreed to buy New-Pharm for 130 million shekels ($37 million) from Hamashbir 365 Holdings .
* New-Pharm operates 67 branches in Israel.
* In approving the deal, Israel’s anti-trust authority ordered the sale of nine New-Pharm stores to a single purchaser and maintain them as drugstores in order to boost competition. Shufersal is also barred from re-acquiring those stores for at least five years.
* The sale of the nine stores must be completed before the merger’s implementation.
* The parties intend to examine the authority’s conditions in the coming days, Shufersal said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
* In a separate statement, Shufersal’s CEO said he was pleased with the decision to approve the acquisition.
* With 190 branches, Super-Pharm is Israel’s largest drugstore chain. ($1 = 3.5230 shekels) (Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Jason Neely)