The proposed merger of bottling firms Refresco and Gerber Emig has been given the green light by the European Commission, subject to one condition.

The deal, first announced in April, will see the companies become one entity, known as Refresco Gerber. However, for the deal to go ahead, the EC said UK-based Gerber Emig's production plant in Waibstadt, Germany must be sold.

A review by the EC concluded that the deal, as proposed, would have “eliminated an important competitor from the market of private label bottlers for supermarkets in France, Germany and Belgium in particular in relation to fruit juices, juice drinks, nectars and still drinks bottled in aseptic PET”.

The EC said it had “concerns that the remaining competitors would have been unable to exercise a sufficient competitive constraint on the merged entity to avoid price increases”. 

Netherlands-headquartered Refresco has offered to sell Gerber Emig's production and bottling plant in Waibstadt, the EC noted.

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