The European Commission has approved, subject to conditions, the proposed takeover bid by Barilla Group of Italy for German bakeries group Kamps.
The Commission feared that the deal might reinforce Barilla's leading position in Germany for crispbread. Barilla already owns the Wasa brand, the uncontested market leader in Germany, and the addition of Kamps' Lieken Urkorn would have strengthened this position. To address the Commission's concerns, Barilla undertook to divest Lieken Urkorn's crispbread business to a viable competitor with experience in the food sector.
Barilla and Italian bank Banca Popolare di Lodi (BPL) have launched a public takeover offer for all Kamps' listed shares. An agreement between Barilla and Kamps was finalised in April 2002 with the Italian pasta company agreeing to pay €12.50 per share.
Kamps bakery products are present in a number of European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and France. Brands include Lieken Urkorn and Golden Toast.