- Jewel Fine Foods business and assets held by the entities set out below
An entity owned by Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL) proposes to acquire the Jewel Fine Foods business and assets from the entities listed further below (Jewel). Jewel is in voluntary administration.
Since that time, Jewel’s administrators have attempted to find a purchaser alternative to B&J City Kitchen. The ACCC understands that the alternative to a going concern sale of Jewel is liquidation.
On 18 March 2020, Jewel entered into a contract with Coles for the sale of Jewel as a going concern.
The Jewel Fine Foods entities are:
- Jewel of India Holdings Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed)
- Jewel of India Enterprises Pty Limited (Administrators Appointed)
- Jewel International Foods Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed) as trustee for Jewel International Foods Unit Trust
- Jewel Fine Foods Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed)
- Jewel of India Admin Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed)
- Jewel Equipment Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed)
- Jewel Properties (Aust) Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed) as trustee for Matta Family Trust
- Jewel of India Retail Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed)
- Gardeners Nominees Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed)
The ACCC considered the potential effect of the proposed acquisition on competition in Australia for the:
- wholesale supply of chilled ready meals
- retail supply of chilled ready meals.
The ACCC’s 2019 review of the B&J City Kitchen / Jewel proposed acquisition found that chilled ready meals are appropriately viewed as a distinct product market to other types of ready meals and ready to eat food.
Jewel is one of the largest producers of chilled ready meals in Australia. Coles is Jewel’s major customer, and Coles is one of the largest retailers of chilled ready meals.
The ACCC investigated the potential for the proposed acquisition to raise vertical concerns, specifically, whether Coles may have an ability and incentive to restrict or otherwise discriminate in the supply of chilled ready meals to other retailers. The ACCC considered that Woolworths was likely to have an effective supply arrangement with B&J City Kitchen and that other retailers have other effective options.
The ACCC also took into account the circumstances of Jewel being in voluntary administration. The ACCC’s assessment is that the likely alternative to the proposed acquisition would be liquidation of the Jewel assets. The ACCC considered that liquidation would not be likely to result in more competitively beneficial outcomes than the proposed acquisition. Under the proposed acquisition, Jewel will remain a major competitor in the supply of chilled ready meals.
ACCC commenced informal review under the Informal Merger Review Process Guidelines.
Closing date for submissions.
Former provisional date for announcement of findings (26 March 2020) brought forward to 25 March 2020.
ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.