Cara acquisition clears regulatory hurdle

by Erica Shaffer
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OTTAWA, Ontario – Cara Operations Ltd. has cleared regulatory requirements to acquire Laval, Quebec-based Groupe St. Hubert Inc., a leading full-service restaurant operator and food manufacturer.

The Competition Bureau announced it would not oppose the transaction.

“During its review of the proposed transaction, the Bureau determined that a substantial lessening or prevention of competition would be unlikely,” the agency said in a statement. “Among other factors, the Bureau identified numerous other restaurants that compete for similar customers in each local market where the parties compete, therefore ensuring effective competition in each local market where there is overlap between the parties' restaurant sites. Consequently, the Bureau issued a No Action Letter to Cara.”

Terms of the transaction give Cara 117 restaurants with system sales of approximately C$403 million ($310.7 million), and a presence in the province of Quebec. Cara also gains two food manufacturing plants and two distribution centers with sales of C$225 million ($173 million) in addition to a real estate portfolio of 28 properties and two manufacturing plants. Cara will maintain St-Hubert’s existing offices in Laval.

Cara Operations is Canada’s largest full-service restaurant operator. The company owns Swiss Chalet casual dining restaurants, Harvey’s, a chain of burger outlets and many other foodservice brands in Canada.

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