The UK’s competition watchdog is reviewing the recent acquisition of Tangerine Confectionery by Ireland’s Valeo Foods Group.

Earlier in August, Valeo announced it was buying UK-based Tangerine for an undisclosed sum from private-equity firm Blackstone. The transaction is being conducted through Valeo’s subsidiary Rowse Honey Ltd, and a holding company of Tangerine, known as Taurus 3 Ltd.

Valeo’s growing presence in confectionery has aroused the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which today (22 August) said it had launched the initial phase of its investigation. Typically, the CMA seeks to test if mergers encroach or reduce competition in particular market segments. 

Valeo owns confectionery brands such as Fox‘s Glacier Mints and Poppets, which it acquired last year from Finland’s Raisio. Meanwhile, Tangerine counts Barratt, Refreshers and Dip Dab among its portfolio.

On 16 August, the CMA launched phase one of its probe, which seeks to investigate whether there is a “realistic prospect of a substantial lessening in competition”. If deemed to be the case, the authority then starts a stage two “in-depth assessment”.