On 30 October 2019, Groupe Bertrand notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its plan to take exclusive control of Groupe Léon de Bruxelles.
Parties to the transaction
Groupe Bertrand is a major player in the restaurant chain sector, with 840 establishments under the Au Bureau, Hippopotamus, Café Leffe, and Burger King brands as well as major Parisian brasseries such as Brasserie Lipp, La Coupole and Au Pied de Cochon.
For its part Léon de Bruxelles has a chain of 82 restaurants under the Léon de Bruxelles brand. In 2019, the group diversified by opening two English-style fast-food seafood restaurants under the Fish’Tro brand in Créteil (94) and Vélizy (78).
The Autorité clears the acquisition without conditions
Both groups operate competing restaurant chains in the high-end restaurant market, with table service, which differs from the low-cost fast food market (which includes fast food, self-service and take-away/home delivery).
However, due to the presence of a large number of competitors (Pizza Pino, Paradis du Fruit, Buffalo Grill, Indiana Café, etc.) in each local area where both companies have restaurants, the transaction does not raise any competition concerns that would hinder the acquisition. The market shares of the new entity will thus remain limited and customers will continue to have numerous alternatives.
The Autorité therefore cleared the transaction without conditions.