European Commission clears Refresco acquisition of Pride Foods at Phase I subject to divestments

European Commission clears Refresco acquisition of Pride Foods at Phase I subject to divestments

Alan Overd, Vicki Mertzanidou
European Competition

The European Commission has approved Refresco's acquisition of UK rival Pride Foods (traded under the Gerber Emig name), subject to the divestment of one of Gerber Emig's production and bottling plants in Germany. The two parties overlap in the production and bottling of non-carbonated soft drinks (NCSDs) to retailers and in contract manufacturing of branded NCSDs for brand owners in a number of European countries. After reviewing a range of evidence relating to the various markets and segments across Europe, the Commission was concerned that the transaction would remove an important competitor from the market of private label bottling of fruit juices, juice drinks, nectars and still drinks in aseptic PET in France, Germany and Belgium; and bottling of ready to drink teas in aseptic PET in Germany. The divestment of Gerber Emig's plant in Waibstadt, Germany was found by the Commission to address these concerns.

A CRA team including Alan Overd, Vicki Mertzanidou, Rameet Sangha, Margarida Soares and Debra Freedman advised the parties throughout the proceedings.