EC clears acquisition of Pagnan transport by Cargill
Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the inland water transport business of the Italian company Pagnan by Cargill of the US. Although Pagnan is the only business operating inland water transport services for dry bulk cargo in Italy, other companies will be able to compete effectively if the market conditions render inland water transport competitive with road/rail transport for dry bulk products. The Commission has concluded that the proposed transaction will not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any part of it.
Cargill is an international company active in a wide variety of business, including commodity trading, commodity processing, the marketing of non-branded food ingredients to the food and beverage industry, and the production and marketing of agricultural inputs to farmers. Pagnan is active in the logistics of discharge and warehousing of cereals, derivatives and other agricultural products.
There are no horizontal overlaps between the parties as Cargill does not own any assets relating to inland water transport of agricultural commodities in Italy or elsewhere in the EEA. However, as Cargill is active in several upstream and downstream markets in the import and trading of agricultural commodities, the Commission examined whether the transaction may give rise to concerns in certain of these related markets.
Currently, Pagnan uses its barges to their full capacity in providing inland water transport services to Cargill and, therefore, it does not offer these services to third parties. The envisaged transaction would therefore have no impact on this activity. Pagnan is the only business operating inland water transport services for dry bulk cargo in Italy, but there is no real demand from other potential clients for these services. For example, only 5-10% of oilseed meal is transported by waterway in Italy. The vast majority (90-95%) is transported by road or by rail. Should demand emerge from other customers in Italy, companies wishing to enter the market would only have to procure assets similar to those currently operated by Pagnan. Moreover, the transaction is very small and has acquired a Community dimension only because the envisaged acquisition and a previously cleared transaction between the same companies (see IP/05/360) are considered as a single transaction under the Merger Regulation.