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FTC opposes Post Holdings' proposed purchase of TreeHouse Foods' cereal unit

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will file a complaint opposing Post Holdings Inc.'s proposed acquisition of TreeHouse Foods Inc.'s ready-to-eat cereal unit.

Post Holdings and TreeHouse initially expected to close the transaction by the end of the third quarter of 2019. In July, Post Holdings said the closing will be delayed after the FTC indicated that it is conducting a more thorough review of the transaction.

"We are disappointed and perplexed by the FTC's decision to attempt to block a combination that produces more effective competition in the $9 billion ready-to-eat cereal category. We will work with TreeHouse to develop an appropriate course of action," Post Holdings President and CEO Rob Vitale said.

For his part, TreeHouse President and CEO Steve Oakland said they are "highly disappointed" with the decision and they are in the process of reviewing their next steps.

The companies said that in light of this development, they cannot provide a time frame on when the transaction will close, if at all.