A 2 Sisters spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We are pleased that the OFT has fully cleared our acquisition of Brookes Avana, following its confirmation in March that 96% of the Brookes Avana acquisition was cleared − namely everything except the Christmas pudding production within Avana.”
One line of production equipment only
“To satisfy the OFT's remaining concerns, we are currently working to sell the Avana Christmas pudding manufacturing capability. This is one line of production equipment only and not the Avana facility itself.”
The sale to Sargents has yet to be completed.
The OFT confirmed that, as a result of the sale, the merger will not be referred to the Competition Commission.
Amelia Fletcher, OFT chief economist and decision maker in this case, said: “Following a consultation, and having carefully assessed the financial position and commitment of the purchaser, Sargents, we are satisfied that this divestment will ensure there continues to be effective competition in this market.”
The Christmas pudding market is worth between £40−50M a year.