Food sector merger okayed
Tuesday 10 April 2012
The European Commission authorised, on 4 April, the proposed acquisition of sole control over certain assets of the Italian food company AR Industrie Alimentari S.p.A. (the ‘ARIA assets’) by the UK food and drinks producer Princes Limited. The Commission found that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because it will not significantly alter the market structure. It reviewed the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition on the markets for various pre-packaged tomato-based cooking ingredients and pulses in the United Kingdom. It also analysed vertical links between these markets and the upstream activities of the ARIA assets in tomato processing. Princes operates mainly in the United Kingdom in the production, marketing and distribution of food and drink products, principally through the retail grocery channel. The company is ultimately owned by Mitsubishi Corporation. AR Industrie Alimentari S.p.A. will contribute its assets, agreements, equipment, inventory and liabilities to the new company to be created, Princes Industrie Alimentari S.r.L., which will be active in the production, marketing and distribution of food products, primarily pre-packaged tomato-based cooking ingredients.