Dad’s Pies may be under new ownership soon, if an application to acquire the business goes ahead.

Dad’s Pies started as a small Family business in Red Beach in 1981 and has expanded significantly over the years. It now employs more than 130 people, manufacturing pies and pastries at the Silverdale factory. It sells pies to Countdown under its The Baker’s Son brand, and unbranded pies to BP. It also sells the Dad’s Pies brand to convenience stores and foodservice customers.

George Weston Foods (GWF) is a leading supplier in the New Zealand pie market with its Big Ben brand but is also known for its bread brands Tip Top, Ploughmans and Burgen. It has entered an unconditional agreement to buy DPL (aka Dad’s Pies) for an undisclosed sum.

In a Commerce Commission clearance application, GWF NZ points to significant existing competition in the local sector from various rivals, including Goodman Fielder, Goodtime Pies, Mrs Mac and Patties Foods, as one of the key reasons the proposed acquisition would not change the competitive landscape. According to GWF’s application, the company and DPL are in the top six largest competitors in the wholesale pie sector, alongside Goodman Fielder, Goodtime, Richmond Foods and Gourmet Foods. These six companies have a combined market share of 70%-80%. Smaller bakers, including in-house bakeries, make up the remaining market share in NZ. If the acquisition goes ahead, the new DPL/GWF entity would sit alongside Goodman Fielder and Goodtime Pies in the top three.

In its submission, GWF said it was “already constrained by significant competition”.

“It wants to acquire DPL so that it can compete effectively through growing its capacity to produce high-quality products which can meet consumer demand.”

The Commerce Commission said it would give clearance to a proposed merger if it was satisfied that the merger was unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

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