22 December 2008

European Commission allows Dutch dairy merger

On 17 December, the European Commission cleared the large and complex merger of Friesland Foods and Campina the two leading dairy cooperatives in the Netherlands after a phase II investigation. The parties have offered remedies mainly to alleviate competitive concerns as regards the impact of the transaction on the Dutch markets for cheese, fresh basic dairy products (including fresh milk, buttermilk, plain yoghurt, custard (“vla”), porridge and fresh dairy drinks), long-life dairy drinks and the procurement market for raw milk. The transaction concerned some 14 affected relevant markets in total and was unconditionally cleared with respect to the markets for long-life basic dairy products, value added yoghurts and desserts, butter, cream, liquid coffee whiteners, spray dried emulsions, lactose and pharmaceutical lactose, despite the merger entity having significant post-merger shares in a number of these markets. RBB advised both parties to the transaction alongside lawyers De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

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