Competition watchdog investigates Tangerine sale

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Valeo Food's acquisition of Tangerine Confectionery is being investigated by the CMA
Valeo Food's acquisition of Tangerine Confectionery is being investigated by the CMA
An investigation into the acquisition of Tangerine Confectionery by Valeo Foods has been launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Valeo confirmed the completion of the deal today (22 August), which was reportedly worth more than £100m. The deal included iconic Barratt brands Refreshers and Dip Dabs.

The CMA will investigate whether or not the two companies will remain distinct upon the completion of the acquisition and if a merger situation had been created that might result in a “substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets”​ in the UK.

Under the rules of the Enterprise Act 2002, Valeo – via its subsidiary Rowse Honey – must not take any action that might impede or deride the CMA’s investigation.

Impeding competition

This included actions that might lead to the integration of Tangerine Confectionery holding company Taurus 3’s business into Valeo, a transfer of ownership or control of the of any of the businesses or the subsidiaries, or otherwise impair the two businesses’ abilities to compete independently in any markets affected by the transaction.

In a statement, Valeo said it was standard practice for the CMA to review transactions of this scale and it would engage with the watchdog to secure competition clearance for the acquisition.

The deal followed Valeo’s 2017 acquisition of Raisio Plc’s Big Bear Confectionery division, which included brands such as Fox’s Glacier Mints, XXX Mints, Poppets and Pedro. Valeo is partly owned by private equity firm CapVest.

Commenting on the Tangerine acquisition, Valeo Foods Group chief executive Seamus Kearney said: “We are very excited about the acquisition of Tangerine, which is in line with our strategic focus and builds on our recent acquisition of Big Bear Confectionery in the UK and Candy Plus in the Czech Republic during 2017.

‘Highly complementary’

“Tangerine is highly complementary to these confectionery businesses, with a focus on largely different technologies, channels and customers. We look forward to adding Tangerine’s iconic brands to our growing portfolio of category leaders.

Tangerine chief executive Anthony Francheterre said the deal would further accelerate the manufacturer’s growth momentum behind its brands.

Tangerine and Valeo share a strong entrepreneurial culture and a shared focus on adaptability, innovation and agility, and we look forward to being part of an ambitious and fast-growing international food business,”​ he added.

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