In accordance with the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has cleared the acquisition of US-based Dole Foods by Total Produce of Ireland, pending the former’s divestment of its bagged salad business in Sweden where both companies own production facilities.

The competition department of the European Commission examined the effects of the proposed operation on market competition for the supply of bagged salads, bananas, pineapples, and other fresh fruits and vegetables after the Commission expressed  concern that the transaction, as originally notified, would have significantly reduced market competition for the supply of bagged salads in Sweden.

According to the decision published on July 30, the European Commission concluded that there would be no competition problems with respect to all other products when the activities of the companies overlap, due to the presence of a sufficient number of alternative suppliers.

To address the competition concerns, the companies offered to sell Dole’s bagged salad business in Sweden in order to eliminate any overlap between the two companies in the supply of pre-packaged items on the Swedish market, which the Commission concluded would no longer pose competition problems in the EU.