European Commission to issue its merger decision on 23 December

3 November 2008

The European Commission has decided for a three-week extension for the final decision on the proposed merger between Friesland Foods and Campina. The two companies believe that it is in their interests the Commission will use this extra time to fully take on board the economic and consumer benefits stemming from the intended merger. Phase 2 enquiries regularly entail extensions to the decision-making deadline.

 Due to the abovementioned decision, the deadline has extended from December 2 to December 23. In July the European Commission opened an inquiry into the possible consequences of the merger for the various markets in which the companies are active. Talks between Friesland Foods, Campina and the European Commission are taking place in a constructive atmosphere. Both companies are confident that in the European Commission’s final analysis not only will the economic and consumer benefits stemming from the merger become evident, but so will the continued dynamism and competitiveness of the concerned dairy markets. For this reason the members of the companies’ Competition Team are working closely with the responsible EU officials to provide market and business information in support of the merger.

In their original merger announcement in 2007, Friesland Foods and Campina indicated that the European Commission’s decision could not be expected before the fourth quarter of 2008, so the extra three weeks are already integrated into our planning.

Friesland Foods and Campina believe that a merger will place them in a better position to anticipate and respond effectively to the accelerating pace of change in the dairy markets arising from such factors as:

  •     ongoing liberalization / deregulation (EU/WTO);
  •     a strongly fluctuating world market for dairy produce;
  •     growing regional and global competition;
  •     growing worldwide consumption of dairy produce.

Friesland Foods and Campina believe that the merger will further improve their ability to supply dairy products and ingredients that respond to the evolving tastes and requirements of consumers and professional customers all over the world. The merger is designed to:

  •     achieve stronger growth in brands and concepts;
  •     realize economies of scale in production, product development and marketing as well
  •     as greater milk processing flexibility;
  •     further reinforce market and brand positions in emerging markets;
  •     further develop global activities around dairy ingredients.