Federal antitrust-enforcement agencies have decided not to intervene in the effort of Allied Stores Corp. to take over Garfinckel, Brooks Brothers, Miller and Rhoads Inc., Allied announced yesterday.
Allied said the waiting period for federal agencies to review the proposed merger for possible antitrust action expired at midnight Saturday with no action taken.
Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, the Justice Department's Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission can review proposed corporate mergers and step in if they believe combining the two companies would reduce competition.
Garfinckel successfully fended off an earlier takeover threat by Gamble-Skogmo Inc. of Minneapolis by raising several objections, including charges that a merger would reduce competition in the sale of large-size women's clothing because both companies have subsidiaries in that specialized business.
Allied is primarily in the department store business and also owns women's clothing stores. Because the department stores and women's wear businesses are vast and highly competitive, few antitrust barriers have been raised to mergers in those fields.
With expiration of the review period, Allied Stores said that this Friday it will begin paying for any Garfinckel shares that were offered to it under a formal bid made last month.
How much stock Allied has been offerred is not known, but Wall Street speculation is that few Garfinckel stockholders have accepted Allied's offer so far because they can get more for their shares by selling them in the open market.
Allied offered $48 a share for Garfinckel, but the shares quickly jumped to more than $50, apparently because of speculation that another buyer would bid more than Allied.
Since Allied made its offer, Seemala Corp., a New York brokerage firm that specializes in speculating on takeovers, has bought more than 400,000 shares of Garfinckel -- about 9.3 percent of the company -- at an average price of about $52 7/8 a share.