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Pioneer Foods gets conditional approval to buy Heinz Foods South Africa

South Africa's competition regulator said publicly May 16 that it has approved with conditions Pioneer Foods Proprietary Ltd.'s acquisition of Heinz Foods South Africa from a unit of food conglomerate Kraft Heinz Co.

Heinz Foods South Africa is a joint venture between Heinz South Africa Proprietary Ltd. and Pioneer Foods Proprietary. The deal would give Pioneer full ownership of the venture.

The Competition Tribunal said in a statement dated May 15 but released publicly May 16 that the transaction is subject to various employment conditions, including a provision that the companies can lay off no more than 27 skilled or semiskilled workers for two years.

Pioneer Foods and Kraft Heinz also plan to conclude an agreement that would grant Pioneer Foods a license to manufacture and distribute Heinz ketchup.

Pioneer Foods is a unit of Pioneer Foods Holding Ltd., which is controlled by Pioneer Food Group Ltd., a company that sells food, beverages, and related products.