EU blocks Tetra Laval's takeover bid for Sidel

The European Commission of the 15-nation European Union in late October blocked a $1.53 billion bid by Lausanne, Switzerland-based beverage carton maker Tetra Laval SA to take over packaging equipment manufacturer Sidel SA, Le Havre Cedex, France.

According to an Associated Press report, the acquisition was rejected because the EC believed the merger would have created a dominant position in the market for machines used for packaging products such as fruit juices, liquid dairy products, and iced tea beverages. In an online report, the AP quoted EU spokeswoman Amelia Torres saying, "Tetra Laval has an overwhelmingly dominant position with regards to cardboard packaging. They are trying to eliminate a competitor in a very promising market, packaging plastic." Göran Grosskopf, Tetra Laval's chairman of the board, expressed disappointment with the decision. Through a press release issued by Tetra Laval, he said, "Whilst the Commission has accepted our arguments that carton[s] and PET equipment represent two separate product markets, we are surprised that it has not commented on the extensive package of remedies offered in this case...we will be cooperating with the Commission fully in order to find a satisfactory solution."

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