Pioneer Foods and Kraft Heinz merger approval to wait longer

SOUTH AFRICA – SA’s body mandated to adjudicate competition matters, the Competition Tribunal has postponed its judgement relating to proposed merger deal between Pioneer Foods and Kraft Heinz.

Pioneer Foods had tabled a bid to acquire half of the South African operations of Kraft Heinz, the US grocery manufacturing and processing conglomerate headquartered in Chicago.

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In a statement, the tribunal said it was waiting for further documentation with regard to the transaction.

It also indicated that it had unconditionally approved Heinz Foods SA and Pioneer forming the joint-venture in 2003.

Heinz SA, a joint venture between the two companies was formed in 2003 making Pioneer Foods a majority stake with an offering to acquire the outstanding 50.1% in their joint venture.

“Heinz Foods SA currently markets the Heinz range of ketchups, soups and baked beans locally.

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It also produces and markets Wellington’s range of sauces and condiments, and also distributes John West, Today and Mama’s products,” the tribunal said in the statement.

Earlier this May, the Competition Commission had recommended that the tribunal approve the deal on condition that Pioneer Foods would manage job losses to not more than 27.

“Although certain skilled and semiskilled employees are likely to be retrenched as a result of the proposed transaction, the commission further imposed a condition that this number should not exceed 27,” said a statement from the commission.

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