Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Brussels, 3 November 2022

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of NTS by SalMar. The approval is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by SalMar. Given that the merger combines two leading farmers of salmon, the Commission investigated concerns raised by market players that the transaction, as originally notified, could have reduced competition for the supply of Icelandic salmon in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’), which the investigation confirmed to be a distinct market with respect to salmon of a different origin, based notably on product characteristics (quality, price, availability) and customer preferences. Following its investigation, the Commission found that the transaction would have reduced the number of active farmers of Icelandic salmon from three to two. As a result, the merged entity would have become by far the largest supplier of Icelandic salmon. This could have led to higher prices and less choice for Icelandic salmon in the EEA. To address the Commission’s competition concerns, SalMar offered to divest NTS’ Icelandic subsidiary Arctic Fish. Arctic Fish constitutes all of NTS’ operations in Iceland and its divestiture fully removes the overlap for the supply of Icelandic salmon. Following the market test, the Commission concluded that the transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments. A press release is available online. 

Source – EU Commission

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