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Boparan divests Christmas pudding arm to enable fair market

02-Nov-2012

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has cleared Boparan Holdings’ divestment of one its Christmas pudding business; a move set to ensure competitiveness in the UK market.

The holdings firm for the 2 Sisters Food Group sold its Avana Christmas pudding manufacturing business to UK firm Sargents Bakeries to ease merger concerns.

Boparan merged with RF Brookes and Avana Bakeries back in May this year, but following an OFT investigation, concerns were raised because the acquisition bought together two of the UK’s largest Christmas pudding suppliers.

The UK’s Christmas pudding market is valued at £40m-$50m ($64m-$80.4m) a year and the OFT concluded that “the loss of competition arising from the deal could lead to price rises for consumers”.

Amelia Fletcher, chief economist at the OFT and decision maker for 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.”

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