Lactalis secures deals in Romania

Lactalis secures deals in Romania

Romania's competition regulator has cleared the way for French dairy giant Lactalis to buy two local companies.

The country's competition council announced in June it had concerns about the impact Lactalis' acquisition of Covalact and Lactate Harghita could have on butter prices.

Lactalis offered to switch the licence to its La Dorna butter brand for what the council called "a certain period of time" to another business, which would re-brand the butter. The privately-owned dairy behemoth then proposed it would take back the La Dorna butter brand once that period elapsed and would refrain from using the trademark to allow the rival to increase its market share.

Last week, the council announced it had accepted the proposal to switch the licence to a company that would rebrand the butter, although it made no mention of Lactalis then taking back the trademark.

Lactalis had not replied to a request for comment at the time of writing.

The company made its entry into Romania's dairy sector through the acquisition of the La Dorna business in 2008.

Last year, Lactalis then moved to buy another Romanian dairy group, Albalact. Its move for Covalact, based in the central city of Sfântu Gheorghe, was announced in December. Lactate Harghita is based in 60km further north in the city of Miercurea Ciuc.

Last week, Danone announced it had struck a deal to sell its US organic dairy business Stonyfield to Lactalis for US$875m.