PICK N PAY is hoping to receive a cheque in five days' time for its FRANKLINS portfolio after would-be purchaser METCASH yesterday said they would push ahead with the transaction despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission blocking the deal last week. The move by METCASH effectively dares the ACCC to resort to legal action to halt the sale. PNP will be thanking its lucky stars if it can close the deal for the agreed R1.4bn after all. The ACCC has run into a storm of criticism from Australian commentators for halting PNP's planned sale to METCASH. Critics said the regulator did not consider the effect a strengthened METCASH business would have in challenging the two largest supermarket chains, COLES and WOOLWORTHS. The Australian senate yesterday voted to hold an inquiry into the commission's decision to block the sale, after senators from the rural-constituency National Party argued for the sale to go ahead, saying it would strengthen independent supermarkets. The senate inquiry will report back by Dec. 17.