Brakes deal given go ahead by OFT

The takeover of Woodward Foodservice by Brakes has been given the green light by the Office of Fair Trading.

The OFT said it had received some objections to the deal, but it dismissed them and said there was no reason to refer it to the Competition Commission.

In its report, the OFT said: “Some independent customers and one competitor expressed concerns about the lack of alternative suppliers.

“However, these concerns were not supported by evidence and were inconsistent with the OFT’s findings about the availability of alternative suppliers.

“In addition, based on the detailed interviews that the OFT conducted with each of the concerned third parties, they appeared to be more unwilling to switch rather than unable to do so.

“This view was also expressed by some of the merging parties’ competitors.”

The report also revealed that none of the two companies large national customers had expressed concerns about the takeover.

The deal, an acquisition by Brakes from the Icelandic company Baugur, covers all eight of Woodward’s distribution centres, but not the DBC business which Woodward acquired in August 2006.

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