Milica Subotić advises Atlantic Grupa on the Serbian Commission’s investigation (Phase II) and conditional approval of its proposed acquisition of Strauss’ Serbian coffee business.

Milica Subotić has advised Atlantic Grupa, precisely Atlantic Grand d.o.o. Beograd on its proposed acquisition of sole control over Strauss Adriatic., a member of Strauss Group, which successfully obtained merger control clearance from the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition on 28 February 2024.

Atlantic Grupa is the biggest coffee producer in Southeast Europe, including Serbia, while Strauss Adriatic is Serbia’s second-biggest coffee producer, known for its coffee brands Doncafe and C kafa.

The Commission’s investigation included a detailed review of the Serbian coffee market, with particular focus on the R&G segment as well as analyses of potential implications for competition. The firm is pleased to point out that the Commission cleared the majority of the merger unconditionally, subject to the requirement for a divestment remedy relating to the manufacture of R&G coffee and some behavioural remedies. In addition, regardless of the fact that the relevant product market was defined narrowly (production and wholesale of R&G coffee), when assessing the concentration, the Commission took into account obvious changes of coffee consumers’ behaviour, which indicate a continuous increase in consumption of other coffee products, such as espresso and instant coffee.