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CMA: Cérélia must sell Jus-Rol

The Competition Appeal Tribunal in the UK fully dismissed a legal challenge by Cérélia and upheld the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision to block Cérélia’s acquisition of Jus-Rol. The Tribunal dismissed all four grounds of Cérélia’s contest on the CMA’s decision. It confirmed that the CMA had gathered and carefully weighed a great deal of information and evidence for its assessment, and had not made any error of fact or law.

Cérélia must now sell off Jus-Rol in its entirety. In January this year, the CMA issued its Phase 2 decision on the Cérélia/Jus Rol merger. It found that the deal would substantially lessen competition. The decision found that the deal brought together the two leading suppliers in the market by a considerable margin, and that they face limited competition, with all other suppliers being far smaller and many of them lacking the capabilities held by Cérélia and Jus-Rol, the Competition Appeal Tribunal stated in an announcement.

“Evidence from grocery retailers showed that they consider Cérélia and Jus-Rol’s products to be important alternatives to one another – with grocers telling the CMA that the ability to trade off Jus-Rol against Cérélia, and vice versa, when buying their products allows them to get a better deal for their customers,” the Competition Appeal Tribunal detailed. Cérélia disagreed with the CMA’s decision and appealed to the Tribunal. Following a hearing in July, the judgment has been handed down on September 1.

Cérélia has already given final undertakings to sell the Jus-Rol business but this process was suspended pending the outcome of Cérélia’s appeal. Following today’s judgment, the CMA now expects Cérélia to commence the sale process.

Photo: Jus Rol social media