Bidvest abandons bid for UK’s Brake

South African diversified industrial company Bidvest Group Ltd said on Thursday it was dropping its offer for British food group Brake Bros Plc after the UK government referred its bid to the Competition Commission.

”I am obviously disappointed by this decision and strongly believe that the proposed acquisition would not have led to unacceptable levels of concentration in the UK foodservice sector,” Bidvest Chairman Brian Joffe said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday, the UK Director General of Fair Trading had advised that the proposed deal would raise competition concerns in the market for wholesale food service delivery in Britain.

Bidvest said in April it was seeking approval to buy Brake Bros. But on Tuesday, the UK company said it had accepted a 434-million pound offer from US-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc.

”In light of the announcement on June 25…and this decision, Bidvest plc has decided not to pursue any form of combination with Brake Bros,” the company said in a statement released after the Johannesburg Securities Exchange closed.

Bidvest shares closed up 1,52% at R46,71. Brake shares had closed down 0,49% at 815 pence. – Reuters

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