EU approves Lactalis takeover of Parmalat

14th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The European Commission on Tuesday gave an unconditional green light to a takeover by French dairy giant Lactalis of Italy's Parmalat that would see Lactalis become the world's top dairy company.

After examining the takeover bid, the European Union executive "concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in Italy or any other European" territory under its watch, it said in a statement.

An announcement by Lactalis in March that it had acquired an almost 29-percent stake in Parmalat, or de facto control of the firm due to its diffused share structure, caused a rumpus in Italy.

Faced with opposition from the Italian government, Lactalis subsequently launched a takeover bid at 2.60 euros a share, running from May 23 to July 8, for 55 percent of the capital.

The public offer was rejected by Parmalat's board on grounds it "did not fully reflect" the value of the company.

But on Monday, the head of Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, which owns around 2.4 percent of Parmalat and made a failed bid to counter the Lactalis takeover, said it was "likely" it would sell its stake to Lactalis.

© 2011 AFP

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