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CMA wins second legal challenge in Cérélia/Jus-Rol case

The Court of Appeal has fully dismissed a legal challenge from Cérélia, and upheld the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s finding that the CMA was ‘rational and fair’ in its merger review.

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal has dismissed all 5 grounds of Cérélia’s appeal, which sought to overturn a judgment issued by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in September 2023.

Joel Bamford, Executive Director of Mergers at the CMA, said:

We are pleased with today’s ruling from the Court of Appeal, which has fully dismissed all 5 grounds of Cérélia’s appeal, upholding the CMA’s decision which found that the Cérélia / Jus Rol merger would substantially lessen competition.

The Court of Appeal found that the CAT’s conclusions were correct, that the CMA conducted a rational and fair investigation and the processes followed by the CMA were lawful.

This is the second time Cérélia has been unsuccessful with its legal challenge, first in the CAT and now, in the Court of Appeal. It must now sell off Jus-Rol in its entirety to ensure UK grocers and shoppers don’t face higher prices or worse quality products.

In January 2023, the CMA concluded its investigation into Cérélia’s purchase of Jus-Rol, finding that the deal would substantially lessen competition and put UK grocers at risk of higher prices and lower quality products – which could ultimately be passed on to shoppers.

Cérélia disagreed with the CMA’s final decision and issued a legal challenge – which was entirely dismissed by the CAT last September. The CAT’s judgment confirmed that the CMA had gathered and carefully weighed a great deal of information and evidence for its merger assessment and had not made any error of fact or law. It also considered that the scope of the remedy was well reasoned and proportionate, and that the process followed by the CMA was rational and fair.

In the Court of Appeal, Cérélia challenged the CAT’s conclusions on the CMA’s assessment of competition arising from  two alternative suppliers of ready-to-bake items to grocery retailers in the UK. Cérélia also raised procedural challenges in relation to the processes followed by the CMA in its investigation. Today, the Court of Appeal has unanimously found in the CMA’s favour, stating that the CAT’s decision was rational, endorsing the CMA’s analysis in its final decision and the process followed by the CMA.

Cérélia had already given final undertakings to sell the Jus-Rol business, but this process was suspended pending the outcome of Cérélia’s appeal. Following today’s judgment, the CMA now expects Cérélia to commence the sale process.

For more information, visit the Cérélia / Jus-Rol merger inquiry page.

For media enquiries, contact the CMA press office on 020 3738 6460 or


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