The Competition Commission has provisionally cleared Heinz's £470m acquisition of HP Foods.

The Competition Commission said that the deal, which was announced in August last year and includes sauce brands such as Lea & Perrins and HP Sauces, was not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition.

Robert Turgoose, chairman of the inquiry group at the Competition Commission, said: “We’ve provisionally concluded that there was very limited, if any, competition between Heinz and HP products in the supply to retail customers.”

He added: “So, in spite of the increased size of the merged company, we do not expect a substantial loss of competition or an increase in prices to result from the merger.”

William R Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Heinz, added: "Heinz is delighted with the initial findings of the Competition Commission and we continue to cooperate fully with them as they review the merits of our acquisition of HP Foods.

“The initial findings are in line with our expectations and we remain confident that this acquisition will meet the criteria for final clearance."