The Greek competition authorities have conditionally approved the purchase of a Greek ice cream brand by food giant Unilever.
Despite threats to reject the acquisition, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has decided to clear the deal between EVGA and Unilever which was announced in September last year.
The authorities made the approval on condition that changes are made to existing distribution contracts and Unilever eases the non-competition clause in the deal.
The decision was reached following a hearing on 17 January to review whether the deal was compatible with merger control rules.
The inquiry followed a statement of objections that the merger might lead to a collectively dominant position of the two brands for impulse and family ice cream which would lead to a “significant impediment to effective competition”.
Unilever said the deal would enrich the company’s Greek ice cream portfolio and will increase availability of its products to consumers through an expanded distribution network.
Spyros Dessyllas, Unilever Greece’s chairman, said, “This agreement is an important demonstration of Unilever’s commitment to Greece and of its determination to make the most of opportunities for growth, despite the difficult economic environment.”
EVGA’s ice cream turnover in 2009 was Є32m. As part of the agreement, around 65 employees will transfer to Unilever.
Recent Unilever investments in Greece include the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in Rentis and the construction of a warehousing and distribution center in Schimatari.