European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Parmalat by Lactalis
Brussels, 14 June 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Italian dairy group Parmalat by Lactalis of France, also a dairy company. The Commission's investigation concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in Italy or any other European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
In March 2011 Lactalis acquired a 28.97% stake in Parmalat and, on 23 May 2011, it launched a public bid to purchase all the shares in Parmalat.
The Commission investigated the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the different markets for dairy products such as the procurement of raw milk, fresh milk, long life milk, cream and cheeses. It found that the proposed transaction would not significantly modify the structure of the relevant markets as the increments in market shares are negligible and a number of credible competitors would continue to exercise a competitive constraint on the merged entity. The Commission investigation also concluded that the combined entity would not be in a position to restrict competition in relation to the sourcing of raw milk or as a result of the extension of its portfolio of products.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 4 May 2011.
Parmalat is an Italian dairy group active in the production and distribution of milk, dairy products and fruit beverages.
Lactalis is a dairy group based in France and its range of products includes, among others, cheeses, milk, cream and butter.
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)1 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:
Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)