The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into the acquisition of turkey processor Bernard Matthews by the private investment vehicle of Ranjit Singh Boparan, the CEO of the UK’s 2 Sisters Food Group.

The vehicle, known as Boparan Private Office, completed the acquisition on 20 September after Bernard Matthews was put into administration by former owner private-equity firm Rutland Partners

However, the CMA said it is considering “whether it is or may be the case that a relevant merger situation has been created” and “whether the creation of that situation has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the UK”.

The CMA said it has “reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is, or may be the case, that enterprises conducted by Ranjit Boparan and Baljinder Boparan [Mr Boparan’s wife] and the business formerly carried on by Bernard Matthews Limited have ceased to be distinct”.

An initial enforcement order issued by the CMA, with effect from 14 October, prohibits moves to integrate Bernard Matthews with businesses of the “acquiring entities” while the investigation is under way without the CMA’s approval.

It was confirmed in June that Rutland Partners was considering selling Bernard Matthews

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By GlobalData

In July, Bernard Matthews said it had exchanged contracts to sell its German subsidiary, Bernard Matthews Oldenburg, to Germany’s Sprehe Gruppe. Bernard Matthews said the proceeds from the sale would reduce group debt by EUR14m (US$15.5m).