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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Ferrosan's Consumer Health Care Business by Pfizer

Brussels, 10 June 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the Merger Regulation the acquisition of the consumer health care business of Ferrosan Holding A/S of Denmark by Pfizer of the US. The Commission concluded that the merged company would continue to face a number of credible competitors.

The parties' activities overlap in the supply of multivitamins with minerals in a number of Member States. The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that even in those Member States with the highest overlaps, the combined market shares of Pfizer and Ferrosan are in general relatively moderate, and the merged company would be constrained by a number of credible competitors.

The Commission also examined potential issues arising from Pfizer's current ownership of Capsugel1, a producer of empty hard gelatine capsules in which Ferrosan's products are delivered and concluded that the proposed merger does not raise any concerns in this regard. As a result, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Pfizer is a global research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company and also has a portfolio of consumer health products, including over-the-counter ("OTC") products, dietary supplements and personal care products. Ferrosan is active in consumer healthcare products, in particular food and nutritional supplements and vitamins and skincare products.

The deal was notified for clearance to the Commission on 2 May 2011.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission, in 1989, was given the power to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation). Its duty is to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)2 or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:

Contacts :

Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)

1 :

Pfizer has reached an agreement to sell Capsugel to a private equity fund.

2 :

The EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

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