Brussels, 12 October 2010
Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Charden International by investment company CVC
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Charden International, the Dutch parent company of Autobar, a vending machine operator, by CVC. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area ("EEA") or any substantial part of it.
CVC controls a number of companies in various industries via its investment funds. One of the companies in the CVC portfolio is Leaf International, a manufacturer of sugar confectionery and chewing gum with brands like Sportlife or Läkerol. Charden International is the parent company of Autobar that supplies, installs and operates vending machines for hot beverages, cold drinks and snacks, including confectionery.
The proposed transaction does not lead to overlaps in the parties' activities. However, as confectionery is also distributed through vending machines, the transaction could potentially raise vertical concerns, in particular in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Finland where the parties have their highest market shares.
The Commission's analysis showed that the merged entity would have neither the ability nor the incentive to shut off competitors, because competitors of Autobar in the vending services market will be able to source from alternative suppliers and sugar confectionery and gum make up only for a very small share of total vending sales.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 7 September 2010. More information on the case is available at: