By a decision of October 13, 2011 the Commission for the Protection of Competition unconditionally authorised Unilever’s acquisition of Darko’s ice cream business. Darko is a manufacturer and brand owner of some of the best known local ice cream brands in Bulgaria.
While Unilever has a strong presence worldwide in ice cream with brands such as the Unilever Heart Brand, Carte DÓr or Ben & Jerry’s, it had only marginal activities in ice cream prior to the acquisition.
The competition authority found that the merger would be pro-competitive, as it would allow the effective entry of one of the major worldwide ice cream manufacturers in the local market, and also rejected concerns of several smaller producers over potentially increased levels of competition following the acquisition.
Boyanov & Co. represented Unilever before the Commission for the Protection of Competition in the merger control proceedings.