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December 15, 2011

SPAIN: Watchdog to mull Cacaolat takeover

Spain's competition watchdog is mulling the takeover of food and drink firm Cacaolat by a consortium led by local brewer Damm and Coca-Cola Co. bottler Cobega.

By Dean Best

Spain’s competition watchdog is mulling the takeover of food and drink firm Cacaolat by a consortium led by local brewer Damm and Coca-Cola Co. bottler Cobega.

The deal, struck last month, will be cleared within four weeks if accepted by the country’s National Competition Commission (CNC), the consortium said. Otherwise, the CNC has two months to prepare a report into the proposed acquisition.

Damm and Cobega plan to hold a 49% stake in Cacaolat, which is part of Nueva Rumasa, the Spanish conglomerate that fell into bankruptcy earlier this year with debts of EUR700m (US$910.6m). The remaining 2% will be held by investment fund Victory Corporate Turnaround.

The consortium beat off competition from dairy processor Capsa and bottled water firm Vichy Catalan.

It plans to spend EUR130m on Cacaolat, including constructing a new plant at an old Damm facility in Barcelona and a proposal to invest in the company’s facility in Zaragoza. The consortium also plans to relaunch the brand in Spain and internationally.

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