William Saurin / Cofigeo Merger Cleared After Phase II Investigation

In June 2018, the French Competition Authority approved the acquisition by Cofigeo of the prepared meal activity of William Saurin, subject to the divestment of one brand and production capacity, following a Phase II investigation.

The merger involved the two main producers of French, Italian, and exotic meals. Compass Lexecon was engaged by Cofigeo to assess the competitive effects of the transaction. Our experts submitted a merger simulation analysis, which the French Competition Authority relied upon in its assessment of the unilateral effects of the transaction. In particular, the simulation analysis showed a lack of material effects on the French prepared meal segment with the merger. We also contributed to the assessment of the failing firm argument, raised because the target was on the verge of bankruptcy before being acquired, by showing that in the absence of the merger the market structure would not have remained as competitive as it was pre-merger.

The Compass Lexecon team included David Sevy, Enrique Andreu, Guillaume Duquesne, Scott Holbrook, Jaime Coronado, Gwilhem Charbonnier, Hyung-Joong Kim and Joanna Hornik.