Sweet deal under scrutiny as watchdog probes Refreshers maker's sale

Alys Key
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Tangerine's portfolio includes Refreshers (Source: cchana via Flickr)

The competition watchdog is investigating a merger between the maker of Rowse Honey and one of the leading independent confectioners

Tangerine Confectionery, the maker of Dip Dabs and other household brands, was put up for sale in February by its owner the private equity giant Blackstone.

Earlier this month, Rowse Honey owner Valeo confirmed that it had completed a takeover of the company, giving it an estimated value of more than £100m.

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Valeo has been building the confectionery side of business, with the recent acquisitions of Big Bear Confectionery and Candy Plus in 2017.

Chief executive Seamus Kearney said that Tangerine's brands, which also include Refreshers and Sherbert Fountain, were "highly complementary" to its current offering.

But the competition and markets authority said today that it had served an initial enforcement order on Valeo and its subsidiary Rowse Honey.

Regulators will now carry out the first stage of investigating whether the merger could result in any substantial lessening of competition, before deciding whether to approve the deal or refer it for an in-depth probe.

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