There was little surprise this week when Iceland announced that it had secured enough acceptances from Booker shareholders for the "merger" of the two to go ahead. However, there were obviously a fair number of Booker's shareholders who were willing to look a gift horse in the mouth ­ less than two thirds (64.2%) had accepted Iceland's offer by the June 19 closing date. Booker's shareholders have had a rough ride over the past three years (unless they bought at 45p of course), so some cynicism is understandable, but the Iceland deal certainly seems to offer them a better return than they could have expected two months ago. Stuart Rose and his team at Booker have achieved a notable turnaround but they were still only at the bottom of a very steep hill. Having sold off all the non core businesses they were still saddled with massive debts of £273.3m, and an operation that generates tonnes of cash, but at a tiny margin ­ a fact many in the City have never understood. And their core market ­ independent retailers using cash and carries ­ is not suddenly going to show exponential growth. So hitching up with Iceland, with its impressive record and image, is the best news for Booker for years. But the question is: will Booker become a millstone around Iceland's neck? A number of analysts have been won over by some heavy duty schmoozing but others still harbour doubts about the odd couple. One remarked: "I know they talk about buying synergies but will that be enough? Somerfield and Kwik Save captured lots of buying benefits too ­ look what it did for them." {{NEWS }}