The Swedish competition authorities have given conditional approval to Carlsberg A/S and Orkla ASA to merge their Swedish breweries Falcon and Pripps as a part of the formation of Carlsberg Breweries A/S.
Carlsberg A/S will own 60 per cent of Carlsberg Breweries A/S and Orkla ASA, 40 per cent.
The Swedish authorities have requested that the following brands be sold: Three Towns, Fat, Arboga, Eagle, Bayerbrau, Starkbock and Sailor. Furthermore, Falcon and Pripps will have to give up their rights to distribute the five imported brands, Lapin Kulta, Warsteiner, Caffrey's, Bass and Staropramen. Falcon will have to stop its current joint distribution agreement with Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige, and Carlsberg A/S will have to dispose of its indirect ownership of Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige. Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige is owned by Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages (CCNB).
In 1999, 55 million litres were sold of the above mentioned brands. The competition authorities' decision means that Carlsberg Sweden AB will lose around 11 per cent of its market share and reduce its total beer market share to approx. 45 per cent.
Carlsberg A/S accepts the Swedish authorities' decision and conditions for sale of the brands.
On December 12, the Norwegian competition authorities approved the formation of Carlsberg Breweries A/S on the condition that Carlsberg A/S dispose of its indirect ownership of Coca-Cola Drikker Norge, which is owned by CCNB.
The Finnish competition authorities, who are also looking into the case, are expected to make a decision at the beginning of January. Carlsberg Breweries A/S cannot complete the take-over of Orkla's beer and soft drink activities, including the merger of Falcon and Pripps, before the Finnish approval is received.
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