The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has confirmed it is investigating the completed acquisition of Premier Foods’ Brookes Avana business, by Solway Foods Ltd, on the grounds of competition in the wholesale supply of chilled foods and puddings.
Brookes Avana, which consists of RF Brookes chilled foods and Avana Bakeries, was acquired by Solway Foods, part of 2 Sisters Food Group, for £30m. The sale was completed on 30 December 2011.
An ‘invitation to comment’ notice was issued to the stock market on Monday 16 January at 3pm, and a decision is expected to be reached by 7 March.
The OFT said it was considering whether “arrangements are in progress or in contemplation which, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002”.
“Should it be found to be a relevant merger situation, the OFT will further consider whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services that warrants reference to the Competition Commission for investigation and report,” it stated.
Solway Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Boparan Holdings.