AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — D.E Master Blenders 1753 B.V. and Mondelēz International, Inc. are moving closer to finally being able to combine their businesses into one company after the European Commission issued its conditional approval for the creation of Jacobs Douwe Egberts (J.D.E.).
The E.C. granted its approval of the transaction after J.D.E. agreed to divest the Carte Noire brand throughout the European Economic Area, the Merrild brand in Denmark and the Baltics, and licensing of the Senseo brand to a third party in Austria.
“We are pleased the Commission has conditionally approved the creation of Jacobs Douwe Egberts, and we are excited to create the world’s leading pure-play coffee company,” said Pierre Laubies, chief executive officer of J.D.E. “Through our iconic brands, rich histories and leading technologies, we intend to give coffee drinkers what they deserve: greater choice and access to some of the best coffee brands in the world.”
Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and c.e.o. of Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelēz International, added, “The combination of our coffee business with that of D.E Master Blenders 1753 creates a new global leader in the coffee category with a fantastic portfolio of technology platforms and global and local brands. The partnership will allow us to continue to participate in the growth of the coffee category, while enabling us to focus our resources on our core snacks categories of chocolate, biscuits, gum and candy.”The companies first agreed to combine their businesses in May 2014, but the transaction hit a snag in December when the E.C. opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the joint venture was in line with the E.U. Merger Regulation. According to the companies, J.D.E. will have annual sales of more than $7 billion with an EBITDA margin in the high teens. Together, the combined businesses of Mondelēz and D.E Master hold a leading market position in more than two dozen countries and have a strong position in emerging markets.