What’s Cooking / : Update on the planned acquisition of Imperial-Stegeman

Press release


Update on the planned acquisition of Imperial-Stegeman

What’s cooking?

Lievegem (BE), 9 May 2023 – 18:00 (Brussels time) (Regulated Information – Insider Information). In October 2021 What’s in store? (formerly Ter Beke), known for its savory slices, spreads and snacks as well as ready meals, has announced its intention to acquire 100% of the shares of Sigma’s business in Belgium (Imperial) and the Netherlands (Stegeman) with five manufacturing enterprises in Belgium (Lievegem, Cornby, Amando, Dacor, Champlon) and one in the Netherlands. What’s cooking? received the decision proposal of the Investigation Office of the Belgian Competition Authority.

Completion of the proposed acquisition is subject to customary conditions, including approval by the Belgian and Dutch competition authorities.

After careful preparation, charting, explanations and answers, What’s Cooking? obtained a copy of the proposed decision that the Investigation Office submitted to the Competition Panel of the Belgian Competition Authority.

Although this is only a non-binding proposal for a decision, the Investigative Service is proposing that the panel not approve the transaction. What’s cooking? does not agree with the position taken by the Investigation Office, in particular because it does not recognize the international competition it faces in a cross-border market for the supply of mostly homogenous private label products.

The final decision itself will be taken by the Competition Board. What’s cooking? will submit its written comments on the proposed decision to the Belgian competition authority in the coming days.

The decision on the admissibility of the acquisition by the Dutch competition authority has also not yet been made.

Pursuant to the purchase agreement, each party continues to work with the competition authorities with a view to obtaining positive resolutions until the current contractual “Long Stop Date” of June 1, 2023.

Regardless of the outcome of this proposed acquisition, What’s Cooking? continues to translate its strategy into action. Earlier in March 2023, the Belgian-registered food company celebrated its 75th anniversary with a new trade name, logo and renewed strategy anticipating the changed market circumstances and meeting the demands of customers in the European market by taking a leading role in transforming food industry in sustainable. What’s cooking? does so both in terms of innovation of existing and new products, packaging, production processes and services for its customers, combined with more plant-based variety and choice.

We are unable to provide further details at this stage and will make further announcements in due course.

Financial calendar

General meeting


May 2023

Half-year results for 2023


August 2023


Anne De Jaeger

General Counsel and Director of Corporate Affairs

Tel. +32 9 370 13 17 / +32 475 201344

[email protected]

Pete Sanders*

Yves Rainier°


Financial director

*Leading for Growth BV permanent representative

°Permanent representative ESROH BV

About the What’s Cooking group.

What’s cooking? is a European fresh savory food group based in Belgium that commercializes in Europe and beyond a wide range of high-quality and innovative savory sausages and ready-to-eat food products (also known by Come a casa®) and related services. “Day after day, we’re making sustainable food second nature by increasing the world’s appetite for delicious, convenient meals created with care for both people and the planet.” Our customers and consumers are always on our hungry minds when we prepare our food products, as well as the well-being of our approximately 3,000 people from our head office, 12 industrial sites in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Poland and the UK and 7 sales offices. What’s Cooking Group (formerly Ter Beke) has been around for 75 years, has been listed as a family company on Euronext Brussels since 1986 (WHATS) and has a turnover of 781 million euros in 2022.

More information on What’s Cooking? can be found at www.whatscooking.group

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