The European Commission has asked France's competition authority to review Nestle's planned sale of foodservice business Davigel to Bain Capital, the private-equity owner of Brakes.

The Autorité de la Concurrence said the case would normally have fallen within Brussels' jurisdiction. However, it said the Commission believed the local watchdog was "best placed to review the deal, particularly in relation to the national impact of the transaction and its experience in the sector concerned".

The organisation said it will analyse "in particular the effects of the transaction on the markets for the distribution of ice cream and frozen food products
intended for the catering industry" in which Davigel and Brakes operate in France. 

It added: "Given the specifics of the distribution process characterising these markets, the analysis will be conducted both at the national and local level."

Nestle announced in April it was in exclusive talks with Brakes over the sale of Davigel. It said at the time the transaction was subject to consultation with staff representatives and competition officials.

When contacted today, Nestle declined to comment on the referral of the sale to the French anti-trust body and pointed just-food to its April statement.

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By GlobalData