Sonoco and Weidenhammer both produce composite cans (rigid tubes with closures on each end) which are supplied to customers for packaging both food and non-food products.
Typical uses include packaging for food products such as gravy granules, chocolate powder, crisps, crackers and coffee, and non-food products such as tobacco and insect repellent. Both companies have UK subsidiaries with domestic production plants.
The group believes customers of composite cans for food products, namely food manufacturers, will be protected from the risk of the merged company raising prices, or reducing quality, through their ability to switch to other suppliers, to alternative forms of packaging or to move to self-supply.
In addition, it is likely if prices increased (or quality decreased) new firms would enter this market, potentially sponsored by larger customers looking for alternative suppliers.
The CMA referred the case for an in-depth phase 2 investigation in January 2015.