Müller’s revised Dairy Crest offer accepted in principle by CMA
29 June 2015 • Author(s):
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has decided that there are reasonable grounds to accept undertakings proposed by Müller UK & Ireland in relation to the proposed acquisition of Dairy Crest’s dairies operations.
Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it would refer the proposed acquisition of the dairy operations of Dairy Crest Group plc (Dairy Crest) by Müller UK & Ireland Group LLP (Müller) for an in-depth investigation – unless acceptable undertakings were offered to address concerns about the loss of competition in the supply of fresh milk to national multiples in certain regions in Great Britain.
Acceptance in principle by the CMA now triggers their commencement of a process which includes a 15 day public consultation, with a final decision to be announced after a total of 40 working days.
Müller’s proposed remedies may mean that they avoid referral to a Phase II assessment
To address CMA concerns and avoid referral to a Phase II assessment which would take approximately 6 months to complete, Müller Müller has offered to process for supply a certain volume of fresh milk to a third party dairy processor in the South West/Wales. This arrangement is to enable another processor to compete to supply national multiples in those regions. The purpose of the undertakings is to replace the competition provided by Dairy Crest that would be lost if the acquisition went ahead and provide national multiples with an alternative to Müller in certain regions.
Müller will now need to identify suitable dairy processors interested in entering into the processing arrangement with Müller and propose a named processor and draft arrangement to the CMA for approval.
Should the acquisition be approved after this period, Müller would aim to complete the transaction by the end of the year at the latest.
Ronald Kers, Chief Executive of Müller Group said, “We strongly believe that this transaction will unlock real benefits for customers, consumers and farmers. We are pleased that the CMA has responded promptly to our proposals which aim to fully address the concerns which they expressed and look forward to a positive outcome.”
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