CMA accepts fruit juice merger remedies
The CMA has accepted Hain’s undertaking to sell its own-label fruit juice business to an approved buyer.
Hain Frozen Foods UK Ltd (Hain) bought Orchard House Foods Ltd (Orchard) in December 2015. Both are major suppliers of own-label freshly squeezed fruit juice to retailers and food service (eg cafes and restaurants) sectors.
On 17 May 2016 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided that the merger gave rise to a loss of competition in the supply of own-label freshly squeezed fruit juice to retailers and food service sectors and would be referred for an in-depth investigation unless the companies were able to offer acceptable undertakings to address these concerns.
The companies offered to sell Hain’s own-label freshly squeezed fruit juice business to Multiple Marketing Ltd, a company with over 30 years of experience in the UK fruit juice industry, primarily producing From Concentrate and Not From Concentrate juices. On 18 August 2016 the CMA launched a public consultation on the remedy package in which it provisionally approved Multiple Marketing Ltd as the proposed purchaser.
During the consultation, it was brought to the CMA’s attention that the owner of Multiple Marketing Ltd was also a shareholder of another supplier of own-label fruit juice, Fruitapeel (Juice) Ltd. The CMA investigated whether this might affect its provisional decision to approve Multiple Marketing Ltd, including by contacting customers of Hain and Orchard, and concluded that it did not.
The CMA is therefore satisfied with Hain’s undertaking to sell its own-label fruit juice business to Multiple Marketing Ltd.
All information relating to this investigation can be found on the case page.