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Coles Group Gets Greenlight To Acquire Jewel Fine Foods

The ACCC has announced it will not oppose Chef Fresh – a subsidiary of Coles Group – acquiring Jewel Fine Foods, which has been in voluntary administration since April 2019.

In September 2019 the ACCC opposed the sale of Jewel Fine Foods to B&J City Kitchen on the grounds that it would weaken competition, given that the two companies are Australia’s largest manufacturers of chilled ready-to-eat meals.

At the time, the ACCC said B&J City Kitchen’s acquisition was likely to “substantially lessen competition for the supply of chilled ready meals”.

Coles is already Jewel Fine Foods’ major customer and does not manufacture these products yet.

The ACCC’s investigation into the potential deal found that other retailers would not be foreclosed as a result of Coles acquiring the business, given that Woolworths already has supply arrangements with B&J City Kitchen and other retailers have access to other suppliers.

“The continuation of Jewel’s production of chilled ready meals is a better outcome for competition than liquidation of assets,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said. “Coles’ acquisition of Jewel ensures that there will still be two major suppliers of chilled ready meals.”

The Jewels Fine Foods manufacturing facility is based in Banksmeadow, New South Wales.

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