Reuters – Australian Regulator Blocks Heinz Infant Food Deal

Australia’s competition regulator has blocked an attempted takeover of Rafferty’s Garden, an organic baby food supplier, by U.S.-based food giant H.J. Heinz Co on concerns that the deal would have reduced competition significantly, writes Reuters. By blocking the deal, the regulator has served up a setback for Anacacia Capital, the company’s private equity owner, which invested in Rafferty’s in 2010 through a management buyout.

Reuters – Australia’s competition regulator has blocked an attempted takeover of Rafferty’s Garden, an organic baby food supplier, by U.S.-based food giant H.J. Heinz Co on concerns that the deal would have reduced competition significantly.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the proposed deal would have removed a strong opponent for Heinz, itself the subject of a $23.2 billion takeover bid from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc and Brazilian financier Jorge Paulo Lemann’s private equity firm 3G Capital.

“The proposed acquisition would combine the two largest suppliers of wet and dry infant food in Australia, resulting in highly concentrated markets where barriers to entry and expansion are high,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

By blocking the deal, the regulator has served up a setback for Anacacia Capital, the company’s private equity owner, which invested in fast-growing Rafferty’s in 2010 through a management buyout.

No financial details of the proposed acquisition had been disclosed.