The Finnish Competition Authority recently decided to commence phase two proceedings in a deal whereby DLA International Holding A/S part of the Danish Agro group acquires 60% control in Hankkija-Maatalous Oy.
Following the merger, to take effect from 1 January 2013, retail group Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta (SOK) remains a minority shareholder in Hankkija-Maatalous Oy and owns 40% of its shares.
Hankkija-Maatalous operates under the Agrimarket chain in the agricultural trade and produces feed under the trademark Suomen Rehu.
The three retail co-operatives part of the S block – Etelä-Pohjanmaan Osuuskauppa, Suur-Seudun Osuuskauppa and Kymenlaakson Agrimarket – are not part of the deal.
Early August DLA Group announced the takeover of Finnish agricultural supplies company Suomen Yrittäjien Maatalous Oy, Finland’s third largest agricultural supply company.
Until then, DLA Group’s activities in Finland have primarily encompassed premixes and mineral mixes from its company Melica Oy.
It will be investigated during phase two, whether the present deal may significantly impede effective competition in the Finnish markets or a substantial part thereof, in particular as a result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position.
During phase two, the FCA may approve the deal as such, attach conditions on its implementation or propose that the Market Court prohibit the deal. Phase two proceedings may last a maximum of three months under the Competition Act.
Hankkija-Maatalous is Finlands biggest agribusiness with a market share of 50% and a turnover of €1 billion. It has 900 employees and has 81 departments and 8 machinery sales centres across Finland.
The company is Finland’s largest manufacturer of industrial animal feed and owns the companies Baltic Feed in Latvia and Hiven in Finland, which produce premix and vitamins and special products.
Hankkija-Maatalous also owns 67 % of the shares in the logistics company, Movere, which has activities mainly in Finland but also in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia and mainland Europe.
Hankkija-Maatalous Oy is currently owned by the Finnish retailing cooperative SOK (total turnover of €7.1 billion). SOK will retain 40% of the shares, but SOK and DLA Group has agreed to discuss the future owner structure in two to three years.