Competition watchdog allows drinks group to buy Lido restaurant shares

The Competition Council (KP) decided to allow the Luxembourg alcohol production and marketing company Amber Beverage Group Holding to have a joint decisive influence over AS Lido along with existing owners, the KP said July 22.

The KP did not identify any material damage to competition and therefore decided to authorize the transaction.

Amber Beverage Group is a leading producer, distributor, logistics provider and retailer of beverages. It operates internationally from its head office in Luxembourg and through its production and distribution companies in Russia, Mexico, the UK, Austria, Australia and the Baltics, its historical home. Latvijas Balzams distillery also is a part of Amber Beverage Group. 

Lido is the largest catering company in Latvia, providing bars, restaurants, catering services, retail with food products, including beer.

The merger will therefore have an impact on the market for beer distribution and retail, where both Amber Beverage Group and AS Lido have small market shares and the concentration of business will be insignificant, KP pointed out.

At the same time, KP did not identify the impact of the merger on the wholesale market for spirits, where AS Lido buys a small volume of alcoholic beverages from Amber Beverage Group.

In assessing the information provided by the company and at KP's disposal, the competition supervisors concluded that the merger would not result in a change in the competition conditions in the market for beer distribution and in the retail market for beer, would not result in a distortion of competition, would not create a dominant position and would not strengthen the position of the Amber Beverage Group on the wholesale market for spirits. The merger should therefore be authorized.

As reported, the Luxembourg spirits production and marketing company Amber Beverage Group Holding considered buying 49% of the Lido restaurant network in June this year.

Lido was registered in 1991, and has a share capital of EUR 1.292 million. The company's beneficial owners are Gunars Kirsons and Russian national Vladimir Shestakov who owns VSh Holding.


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