WARSAW – Nov. 20, 2018 - A competition law team from Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Warsaw office represented Smithfield Foods in antitrust proceedings before the European Commission and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP), which concluded with a positive decision by the OCCP. The unconditional approval of the antitrust authority represents a green light for Smithfield Foods to take control over Pini Polonia – the largest and most modern pig slaughterhouse and pork cutting plant in Poland.
Due to the size of the participants' turnover, the transaction was originally notified to the European Commission; however, after conducting proceedings, the Commission took into account a request by the OCCP and referred the case to the Polish authority as the planned concentration only impacts the Polish meat market and the OCCP has sufficient knowledge and experience to investigate the state of competition on the market.
Using a comprehensive economic analysis and presenting overall market relations, in the course of the proceedings, Greenberg Traurig lawyers demonstrated that the transaction would not restrict competition on the market.
The OCCP adopted the decision only after conducting proceedings in the so-called second phase, intended for particularly complicated concentrations. During the proceedings, it was necessary to carry out extensive market research, which served to collect economic data regarding the case. As part of the research, the OCCP sent requests for information to almost 180 market participants. The in-depth analysis covered, among others, commercial relations on the market of meat production, processing, and sales, as well as the market position of all the parties to the concentration and other enterprises. As stated in the OCCP’s announcement, "analysis of the effects of the concentration has shown that it will not restrict competition. Smithfield Foods will have to compete with other slaughterhouses, therefore, there is no reason to fear that entrepreneurs will lower purchase prices of livestock, especially as prices on the domestic market are transparent.”
Smithfield Foods was represented by the Greenberg Traurig competition team led by Partner Robert Gago, and supported by senior associates Radosław Pawluk and Ewa Tabor-Maciejewska and associates Marta Kownacka and Tomasz Denko.
Smithfield Foods, based in the USA, is one of the world's largest pork producers. In Poland, it controls, among others, Animex Foods which is the largest meat company on the Polish market, specializing in the production of pork and poultry meat as well as meat products.
Pini Polonia belongs to the Pini capital Group, which owns companies in Italy and Hungary.
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Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak sp.k. was named the 2018 Most Innovative Law Firm of the Year Award for Poland by International Financial Law Review (IFLR) and the 2017 Law Firm of the Year in Poland by Chambers and Partners. The Warsaw office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP provides legal services to clients in Central Europe and beyond and consists of more than 100 lawyers. Team members are regularly recognized as leaders in numerous practice areas. Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, IFLR1000, and EMEA Legal 500 consistently rank them among the top tiers the areas of Corporate/M&A, Capital Markets, Real Estate, Private Equity, Tax, Banking and Finance, Project Finance, Competition & Antitrust, Energy, Dispute Resolution, and TMT. For additional information, please visit www.gtlaw.com.