The Italian antitrust authority does not want to wave through a merger of the two Italian pet shop chains Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo (Fressnapf) without further ado. This is reported by the Italian media and refers to a bulletin of the antitrust authority that has just been published. The authority has initiated an investigation against the Arcaplanet owner Cinven.
The merger of Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo is to be carried out within the framework of two share purchase agreements. Cinven is to hold between 65 and 70 per cent and Fressapf 30 to 35 per cent of the shares in the newly founded company Shiba. The antitrust authority will investigate the possible effects of the merger of Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo on the Italian pet market.
The antitrust authority believes that Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo are the first and third largest pet chains in Italy, with 388 and 136 shops respectively. The merger would lead to a dominant position of the new company with a market share of about 30 to 35 per cent. At the local level, the new group would even hold more than 50 per cent of the market share in at least 90 territories in Italy. In at least 124 territories the combined market share would still be above 25 per cent.
Finally, the antitrust authority based its decision to continue the investigation on the significant and widespread presence of Arcaplanet and Maxi Zoo shops in Italy and the importance and reputation of the two brands. The proceedings must be concluded within 45 days from the date of the decision on this measure (22 November).