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September 6, 2011

SPAIN: Ebro to sell brands after competition watchdog ruling

Ebro Foods will sell four of its major brands and license out another as part of its acquisition of the rice business of fellow Spanish food maker Deoleo.

Ebro Foods will sell four of its major brands and license out another as part of its acquisition of the rice business of fellow Spanish food maker Deoleo.

In April, Ebro purchased the assets from the then SOS Corporacion Alimentaria for EUR205m (US$288.4m) to expand its rice operations in Europe, the US and the Middle East. The deal prompted SOS Corporacion Alimentaria to change its name to Deoleo and meant the company would focus on its olive oil business.

The Spanish competition watchdog, Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC), announced yesterday (5 September) that it had approved the acquisition but only if Ebro licenses out the Nomen brand for ten years and sells the La Parrilla, La Cazuela, Pavo Real and Nobleza brands.

A CNC statement said the moves would “solve the competition concerns identified”.

A spokesperson for Ebro told just-food that the company’s “principal rice brands in Spain” will be SOS, Brillante, La Fallera, La Cigala and Rocío, with an overall market share of almost 24% in volume sales and 32% in value terms.

“The Nomen market share is 4%. The other brands (the ones being sold) are very small,” the spokesperson said.

Ebro would not comment on the value of the brands and expects to finalise the deal next week.

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