We advised Mondi Group on the acquisition of Powerflute Group Holdings Oy (together with its subsidiaries “Powerflute”), a division of Nordic Packaging and Container Holdings. The case involved a rare referral to the European Commission.
We submitted the merger control notification to the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”). The case did not have to be notified elsewhere. However, the FCCA made a rare request for referral to the European Commission. Subsequently, Spain joined the request; and the Commission accepted the referral. This was only the third time a transaction has been referred from Finland to the European Commission under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”).
Especially with regard to the criterion in Article 22 that a request for referral should concern a transaction that “threatens to significantly affect competition within the territory of the Member State or States making the request”, the case is remarkably different from the two previous referrals from Finland (in 1996 and 2005); as well as from basically all the other approximately only 30 referral requests accepted by the Commission under Article 22 EUMR since 1990.
We also represented Mondi Group before the European Commission regarding the request for a referral. Subsequently, the concentration was notified to the European Commission, and the Commission cleared the transaction in Phase I in May 2018. The Commission concluded that the acquisition would raise no competition concerns.
Mondi Group (listed both on the JSE Limited and the London Stock Exchange) is a global leader in packaging and paper, providing its customers and consumers with innovative and sustainable packaging and paper solutions. In 2017, Mondi had revenues of EUR 7.10 billion.
Transaction Powerhouse – Acquisition of Powerflute Group Holdings Oy and its subsidiaries