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Regulator to Probe Heinz' Takeover of HP Foods

News, 12 August 2005

The UK's competition watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading, has focused its regulatory eye on the proposed purchase of HP Foods by US giant H J Heinz.

The £470 million ($842m; €682m) deal with HP owner, the French Groupe Danone, would see Heinz spice up its sauces brands, adding HP Sauce, Daddies, Amoy and Lea & Perrins.

The OFT investigation is usual in deals that result in new companies which generate a turnover of more than £70m or supply more than 25% of the goods and services for the UK market. The Heinz/HP merger is expected to be given the nod next month.

Heinz' fifty-strong UK marketing team hopes the go-ahead will finally shed light on their future, following the company's decision to suspend its £7.8m UK print and TV consumer advertising pending the ingestion of HP [WAMN: 21-Jul-05].

The budget freeze, which led to the resignation of Scott Garrett, UK vp of brands, is expected to last until May 2006.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff