European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Gemeaz Cusin by Avenance Italia in foodservices
Brussels, 23 March 2012 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Gemeaz Cusin by Avenance Italia, which is part of the Elior Group. Both companies are active in the provision of contract foodservices in Italy. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face credible competition from a number of competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
The Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition, notably in the affected market for contract foodservices in the "Defence & other public security services" sector in Italy, where both companies are active. The market investigation showed that the strong position held by the parties in this market derives to a large extent from one particular contract which will expire in 2012. The Commission also found that price increases after the merger is unlikely, in particular because customers would have no difficulties in switching to competing contract foodservice providers. Moreover, the merged entity would not be in a position to hinder the entry or expansion of competitors, as the costs to start up or expand an activity in the sector of contract foodservices in Italy are rather low.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
The proposed transaction was notified to the Commission on 22 February 2012.
Merger control rules and procedures
The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA 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).
More information on the case is available at:
Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)