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‘Coles to check out with Jewel’
Posted on Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:19
Coles Supermarkets has been given the green light to buy Australian food manufacturer Jewel Fine Foods by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), according to media reports.

The news comes just months after the ACCC blocked B&J City Kitchen’s proposed acquisition of the target in September last year.

At the time, the regulator said the deal was likely to reduce competition and hike up price of ready-made meals.

Jewel entered into a sale contract with Coles on 18th March 2020, which was subsequently fast-tracked by the ACCC to allow the transaction to go ahead.

The green light represents the end of a long process for the target, after it filed for voluntary administration in April last year.

According to the Financial Review, the company would have gone into liquidation had it not found an approved buyer.

Stephen Ridgeway, commissioner of the ACCC, said: “The continuation of Jewel’s production of chilled ready meals is a better outcome for competition than liquidation of assets.

“Coles’ acquisition of Jewel ensures that there will still be two major suppliers of chilled ready meals.”

Based in New South Wales, the target claims to be Australia’s leading manufacturer of chilled food.

Jewel makes a range of ready-made meals and salads under Jewel of India, Soup Kitchen and Spice & Passion brands, among others.

Its customers include the likes of Aldi, Woolworths, Costco Wholesale and IGA.

Headquartered in Melbourne, Coles operates a chain of supermarkets and liquor stores across Australia.

During the six months ended 5th January 2020, the group posted revenue of AUD 18.85 billion (USD 11.28 billion), up 3.3 per cent from AUD 18.24 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there were 1,965 deals targeting food manufacturers announced globally in 2019.

Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development agreed to buy China-based Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development for CNY 39.09 billion (USD 5.51 billion) in the largest of these.

© Zephus Ltd