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Heinz Wattie’s seeks clearance to acquire certain assets of Cerebos Gregg’s

29 November 2017

The Commerce Commission has received an application from H. J. Heinz Company (New Zealand) Limited (Heinz Wattie’s) seeking clearance to acquire the food and instant coffee business of Cerebos Gregg’s Limited (Cerebos Gregg’s). 

The ultimate parent company of Heinz Wattie’s is the Kraft Heinz Company, a public company listed on the NASDAQ whose core products are beverages, cheese, convenience foods, dairy foods, and snack foods. In New Zealand Heinz Wattie’s manufactures and supplies jams, dressings, soups, sauces, beans, spaghetti, canned fruit and vegetables, frozen meals and vegetables, pates and dips. Relevant to the application for clearance is the range of sauces that Heinz Wattie’s supplies to supermarkets and the food service industry in New Zealand under the brands Wattie’s, Heinz, Lea & Perrins, HP, and Gourmet.

Cerebos Gregg’s is ultimately owned by Suntory Beverage & Food Pte Ltd, a food and beverage company operating throughout Australasia. In New Zealand, Cerebos Gregg’s produces sauces under a number of brands including Cerebos, Gregg’s, F. Whitlock & Sons, and Asian Home Gourmet.

The application for clearance is subject to Heinz Wattie’s undertaking to divest assets relating to tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, steak sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

A public version of the application is available on our Clearances Register.

Background

When considering a proposed merger (or joint venture), the Commission must decide whether the competition that is lost in a market when two businesses merge is substantial. We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on the Commission’s website