What’s Cooking? (formerly Ter Beke) will has pulled out of its planned acquisition of Imperial Meat, due to uncertainties as competition authorities had raised objections to the deal.
Time is up
In October 2021, market leader Ter Beke proudly announced the acquisition of its runner-up in the cold meats market, the Belgian and Dutch branches of Sigma. This would mean that the company could integrate brands such as Aoste and Marcassou into its own portfolio. However, the companies had given themselves until 1 June 2023 to terminate their plans, which they have now done.
This transaction between both giants was not to the liking of the competition authorities: last month, the Belgian anti-trust authority issued a negative report. This is not yet a formal refusal, but the two companies could not wait any longer to decide. Moreover, if the competition authority were to require the divestment of certain overlapping brands or plants, the acquisition would lose too much of its value anyway.
“We regret having to make this decision”, What’s Cooking? said today, but the company prefers clarity to an even longer process. From now on, the Come a Casa producer will focus once again on organic growth. “We believe in the strength of our own strategy. The accelerator of sustainability and innovation will therefore come mainly from within”, says the press release.