France’s competition authority is set to investigate the proposed takeover of Quartier Français Spiritueux (QFS) by COFEPP-owned French spirits group La Martiniquaise.

French co-operative Tereos agreed to sell QFS to La Martiniquaise in February this year. La Martiniquaise is France’s second biggest spirits group behind Pernod Ricard.

However, competition officials said today (6 July) that the deal “raises serious concerns”. The regulator said: “Both COFEPP, through its subsidiaries La Martiniquaise and Bardinet, and QFS are active in the rum and spirits sectors.”

It will assess concerns in the trade about a decrease in competition, “notably in the rum sector and in the supply of various spirits to retailers for sale under private label and low-priced retailers' brands”.

Last February, La Martiniquaise president and CEO Jean-Pierre Cayard told just-drinks that his group expected to relinquish some QFS rum brands to complete the deal.