Bulgaria - 3-cigarette distributors permitted to merge..

July 16, 2010 - The Bulgarian Competition Protection Commission (CPC) has permitted three big cigarettes distributors to unite in one company. From now on, “Tabac Trading Partner” Ltd., “Delivery” and “Bulgarian Vending Company” will be known as “Tabac Logistic Group” Jsc.

The Bulgarian anti-monopoly institution assigned Tuesday, July 13th immediate execution of the decision, because according to its research, the deal will not have any negative consequences on the market.

“Tabac Logistic Group” will buy, deliver, transport and store tobacco products, made by “Bulgartabac Holding”.

CPC noted that in order to make the decision, they have done a research among producers, distributors and bigger retailers of cigarettes and have not received a negative statement for the deal. The commission's research has also shown that there was a good interchangeability between the Bulgarian and imported cigarette brands.

“The commission is treating the geographical market for cigarette distribution as national. The analysis has established that the market for cigarette distribution is very competitive and there are many companies that are willing to execute distribution of the production of the big producers and importers to the final customers, which are the wholesalers and retailers,” the CPC decision said.

“Delivery” owns stakes in six holdings for selling cigarettes, which are based in the Bulgarian cities of Blagoevgrasd, Razgrad, Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, Karlovo and Hissar.

Reference: Bulgaria's Competition Watchdog Oks Merger of Cigarette Distributors, Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency), 7/13/2010.

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