On 31 July, the European Commission (EC) gave Total Produce the green light to acquire 45% of the shares of the American company Dole. The Irish multinational is paying 260 million Euro for them. The approval came earlier than expected.
The EC approves the deal under the condition that Dole lets the Swedish Saba Fresh Cut go its own way. The European Commission is concerned about competition in the Swedish market after the takeover, as both Total Produce and Dole are active in Sweden. For the cut products, only Salico would remain as a significant competitor. According to the EC, this would leave too little competition in the market. Total Produce said in response that this condition “has no material impact on the strategic motivation or commercial value of the transaction.”
In February 2018, Total Produce announced the purchase of 45% of Dole’s shares. However, the deal still had to be submitted to the EC for approval. Initially, the EC was not expected to give its response before the end of the year. After the purchase of 45% of Dole’s shares, Total Produce has the option to acquire the remaining ones over the next five years.