EU clears Campbell purchase
Unilever's European Culinary Brands Businesses (ECBB) by US group
Campbell Soup Co. The sale...
The European Commission this week cleared the acquisition of Unilever's European Culinary Brands Businesses (ECBB) by US group Campbell Soup Co. The sale fulfills the commitments given by Unilever last September to obtain European Union clearance for its purchase of Bestfoods. European Culinary Brands Businesses produces and sells soups, sauces, bouillon and jams in Europe under a variety of brands, including Batchelors, Oxo, Royco and Lesieur. Campbell is to buy the whole range of products currently sold under those brands both in the food retail and in the food service sector. The Commission stated that the acquisition poses no competition problem as it leads only to minimal overlaps in three mayonnaise markets in France and "other cold sauces" in France and Portugal none of which results in the creation of a dominant position. In September 2000 the Commission allowed the Unilever/Bestfoods deal to go ahead subject to Unilever selling a number of brand portfolios in several European countries