European Commission approves Mars proposed acquisition of Wrigley

Posted by Isobel Drake on 31st July 2008

The European Commission has cleared, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of sole control of Wrigley by Mars.

The EU concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

In April this year Wrigley, the world leading gum maker, agreed to the takeover by Mars Inc., with Wrigley to become a subsidiary of Mars.

Mars, a US-based family-owned company is a global leader in confectionery, food and pet care products. Its confectionery business comprises chocolate confectionery and, to a smaller extent, sugar confectionery. As such, the Commission did not believe there was overlap in the parties’ core confectionery activities (chocolate and gum). “Although both parties are considered active in “sugar confectionery”, the limited market shares do not give rise to competition concerns,” a statement from the European Commission advised.

The Commission also concluded that was no risk that the joint entity could use the strong market position Wrigley currently enjoys on the gum markets to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors through foreclosure of chocolate markets.

The takeover will result in the creation of the world’s largest confectionery company, eclipsing current market leader Cadbury.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced on July 11 that they too would not oppose the proposed purchase of Wrigley.