GERMANY – Müller Group, a German dairy company, has been given the go-ahead by German competition authorities to acquire some of FrieslandCampina’s German assets provided they divest two of their own brands.

As per the recent ruling from the German Bundeskartellamt, Müller will have to find a buyer for its milk-based Tuffi brand and Landliebe rice pudding and fresh milk-based mixed drinks, due to competition regulations.

A Müller Group spokesperson said it was “already in talks with potentially interested parties” in the Tuffi and Landliebe brands.

The deal will take effect in April with Muller acquiring private label products in FrieslandCampina’s “white-dairy range” and its food service brand Gastro, as well as three production sites in Heilbronn, Cologne and Schefflenz.

“We are pleased that the German Cartel Authority approved our acquisition plans yesterday. This means that there is now nothing to prevent us from taking over the brand rights and product.

On 1 April 2023, we will take over all the plants and thus also the responsibility for the employees working there as well as for the associated assets.

The German competition body on the other hand said, “We are delighted that this approval provides clarity for everyone involved, allowing us and Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller to complete the transaction.”

The President of FrieslandCampina Germany noted that the company’s market position and financial results have significantly improved in recent years through targeted measures.

“Nevertheless, we are convinced that in the new owner, Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller, we have found a suitable successor who, through synergy benefits, will be able to further develop this company successfully.”

This development comes a year after FrieslandCampina sold its Russian dairy business to Germany-based Ehrmann.

“Our local German brands need more scale, and Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller offers this growth perspective through synergy benefits,” said another spokesperson.

Germany accounted for EUR981 million (US$1.02B) of FrieslandCampina’s 2021 group revenues of EUR11.5 billion (US$12.1B), according to its annual report.

FrieslandCampina is however not completely exiting the German market as it will continue to sell and market its other international brands like Valess, Frico and Holland Master cheese lines, and Chocomel drinks.

The financial terms have not been disclosed and all the affected employees have been informed.

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