Post - unhappy with wait for FTC to issue verdict

Post - unhappy with wait for FTC to issue verdict

US food company Post Holdings has again expressed its disappointment that the country's consumer watchdog has yet to make a decision on its proposed deal to buy TreeHouse Foods' ready-to-eat cereal business.

The Weetabix owner agreed a deal with TreeHouse back in May but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has yet to give the deal the all-clear, a decision Post described as surprising.

Speaking to analysts on Friday (22 November) to discuss Post's fourth-quarter and full-year results, CEO Rob Vitale said: "We continue to believe that we should receive government clearance for our acquisition of the TreeHouse ready-to-eat cereal business. 

"We believe that there is intense competition in the cereal business and that this deal is unambiguously pro-consumer and the efficiencies achieved will allow us to compete more aggressively. 

"We are surprised that this combination has received the degree of scrutiny that it has, but we are actively engaging with the FTC and we hope to convince the FTC to approve the transaction soon."

Both Post and TreeHouse expressed their disappointment that the closing was being delayed by the consumer watchdog back in July.

At the time the deal was announced, it was expected to close in the third quarter subject to complying with the "waiting period" under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

TreeHouse acquired the cereal business from Conagra Brands in a deal announced in late 2015.

just-food asked the FTC, which looks at issues including whether there is enough competition in the market, for an update but a spokesperson for the organisation said the FTC does not comment on investigations.