Lavazza to purchase D.E. Master Blenders’ Merrild


Lavazza has confirmed with GCR Magazine that it intends to purchase D.E. Master Blenders’ (DEMB) Danish coffee brand Merrild. Merrild, which generates more than 90 per cent of its revenue through its roast and ground business, holds a major share of the market in Denmark and the Baltic States. The sale of Merrild was part of the European Commission’s May conditions for allowing the merger of DEMB and Mondelez International. The commission had initially been concerned that the joint venture between The Netherlands’ DEMB and the United States’ Mondelez, would lead to a price increase in roast and ground coffee products in France, Denmark and Latvia. The commission said its concern was that the joint venture was bringing together brands that had traditionally competed against each other. These include L'Or and Carte Noire in France; Merrild and Gevalia in Denmark; Merrild and Jacobs in Latvia; and Senseo and Jacobs in Austria. The commission said the remaining companies would be unable to exert sufficient competitive pressure on the joint venture to avoid a price rise. To address these concerns, Mondelēz agreed to sell its Carte Noire business, while DEMB agreed to sell its Merrild business. “Many of us drink coffee and appreciate having a choice,” said Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, in a statement this past May. “The decision will ensure that consumers can continue to enjoy a variety of coffee brands and types at competitive prices.” A spokesperson for Lavazza said that it has agreed in terms with D.E. Master Blenders to meet the conditions of the European Commission regarding divestment of the Merrild brand; however, at this time, the commission has not approved the transaction.

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