OFT in UK clears ABF's acquisition

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Abf, Associated british foods

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has cleared international food
company Associated British Foods' acquisition of Indian food
manufacturer Patak's.

The acquisition was announced in May, however this was subject to competition clearance by the OFT. ABF will operate Patak's brand and assets in all countries except India now this has been cleared. The company, whose brands include Kingsmill, TipTop and Ovaltine, said the acquisition will allow it to take advantage of the growing world foods market within the UK, as well as supporting the international growth of Patak's. "The aim is to achieve strong, sustainable leadership positions in markets that offer potential for organic growth,"​ the company said. Patak's manufactures and supplies Indian snacks, ready meals, curry pastes and cooking sauces to restaurants and retail stores within the UK, and made £33m (€49m) in revenue in 2006. "The combination of Patak's with the existing businesses will create a leading position in theUKfor the supply of world foods to both the retail and wholesale channels,"​ ABF said. "These markets have grown strongly and this growth is expected to continue." ​Earlier this year, ABF took over a Phillipino bakery business as well as other steps to expand into growing markets within Europe and the US. However, the company did struggle earlier this year when bakery operations in the UK were disrupted due to foreign objects being found within its bread. ABF announced a 7 per cent rise in full year profits to £272m in 2006, despite a weak performance in Allied Bakeries.

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