The Swedish Competition Authority clears the merger of Altia and Arcus. The merger is cleared on the condition that Altia and Arcus implement voluntary commitments that remedy the negative effects on competition that could have arisen because of the transaction.
Through the transaction, the Finnish firm Altia Plc and the Norwegian firm Arcus ASA will merge their respective businesses. In November 2020, Altia and Arcus submitted their notification of the merger to the Swedish Competition Authority for review under the Swedish Competition Act. The merger has also been notified to the competition authorities in Norway and Finland.
Both Altia and Arcus produce, import, export, sell and distribute both their own and other producers beverages, in particular wine and spirits. After conducting an in-depth investigation, the Swedish Competition Authority found that the merger risks resulting in significant anti-competitive effects in the markets for the sale of spiced grain spirits/akvavit, cognac and vodka/unflavoured neutral grain spirits, in particular through the creation or strengthening of a dominant position.
In April 2021, Altia and Arcus submitted voluntary commitments in order to remedy the competition concerns identified by the Swedish Competition Authority. The commitments mean that Altia and Arcus will, for instance, divest the akvavit brands Skåne Akvavit and Hallands Fläder, the vodka brand Dworek and either divest the cognac brand Grönstedts or enter into a sub-licensing agreement for the cognac brand Braastad with an independent firm.
The Swedish Competition Authority considers the commitments sufficient to ensure that the merger will not significantly impede competition and therefore clears the merger without any further actions.