The US Federal Trade Commission is preparing to give the go ahead to Swiss food giant Nestlé's bid to acquire the ice cream company Dreyer's, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The FTC originally rejected the Swiss group's $2.8 billion (€2.4bn) takeover of Dreyer's on the grounds that it would give Nestlé too dominant a position in the premium ice cream segment with a 60 per cent market share.
The decision came as a shock to Nestlé, which had worked closely with the FTC in a bid to ensure that the deal was given the go ahead, and had agreed to sell off a number of brands to the Canadian company CoolBrands International.
But Nestlé now appears to have done enough to satisfy the regulators, according to the WSJ report, although a final decision from the FTC is not expected until Friday at the earliest.
According to the paper, Nestlé and Dreyer's have agreed to sell more premium brands to CoolBrands, as well as a number of distribution assets. The original agreement was to sell Dreyer's Dreamery and Whole Fruit sorbet brands, the licence to produce ice cream under the Godiva brand and distribution assets in a number of major cities, to the Canadian group.
Details of the expected new agreement have not yet been released, but it will clearly go further than the earlier deal.
Nestlé owns the Haagen-Dazs brand, the main competitor for Unilever's Ben & Jerry's brand in the US. With the addition of all of Dreyer's super-premium, Nestlé would have dominated the market, having enough clout to effectively disrupt distribution of Ben & Jerry's brands - another major fear of the FTC.