Grocers' shares unfazed by Competition Bureau's bread price-fixing probe
Competition Bureau says searches conducted at offices of some companies
Investors in major Canadian grocers appear unfazed Wednesday after the Competition Bureau raided the offices of certain companies in a criminal probe tied to alleged price fixing of some packaged bread products.
Loblaw Companies Ltd. and George Weston Ltd. shares closed higher in Toronto, one day after the companies released a joint statement confirming they were aware of and co-operating fully with an industry-wide investigation. Loblaw finished at $66.98 after gaining 40 cents, while George Weston rose 26 cents to end at $108.58.
Metro Inc. shares posted a slim gain after it too put out a statement saying the investigation concerns certain suppliers and Canadian retailers, and that it is fully co-operating. Metro added five cents to close at $40.66.
The bureau said late Tuesday the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa granted search warrants based on evidence that there are reasonable grounds to believe that certain individuals and companies have engaged in activities contrary to the Competition Act.
Spokeswoman Marie-France Faucher says bureau officers are conducting searches and gathering evidence to determine the facts.
She added there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time and no charges have been laid.