The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the acquisition of some of Dutch brewing company Heineken’s wholesale activities by wholesale food supplier Sligro. According to ACM, the acquisition will not create any anticompetitive problems. Sufficient alternatives will continue to exist for buyers. ACM has drawn these conclusions having investigated the market and its participants, as well as having talked to competitors.
Sligro wishes to acquire some of Heineken’s wholesale activities. These include customer relations, supply contracts, logistics contracts, and certain assets with regard to food products (food and beverages) and thereto-related non-food products (such as napkins and disposable cutlery) for the hospitality industry.
Sligro does not acquire the wholesale activities related to beer and cider. Heineken will continue to sell these products. However, as part of a broader collaborative deal, Sligro will provide logistics services for Heineken with regard to beer and cider. ACM has also assessed this collaboration within the context of the aforementioned acquisition.
ACM has assessed whether there are any anticompetitive risks. In its assessment, the primary focus was on the question of whether sufficient alternatives will continue to exist after the acquisition. According to that assessment, such is the case. Other wholesalers for food products and thereto-related non-food products continue to remain active such as Lekkerland, Hanos, Bidfood and Makro. ACM’s market scan additionally revealed that these firms increasingly experience competitive pressure from direct deliveries by producers, and from buying from supermarkets.