German Competition Authority

01/28/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/29/2021 07:22

Proposed merger in the agricultural trade: Bundeskartellamt clears merger between Beiselen and ATR – RWZ / Raiwa withdraw notification

Date of issue:28.01.2021

Today the Bundeskartellamthas cleared the proposed merger in the agricultural trading sector between Beiselen and The notification of the proposed merger between and on the other hand was withdrawn by the parties at the end of last year after the authority had initiated a second phase proceeding.

is primarily active in the agricultural retail trade in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg and Brandenburg whereas Beiselen is active throughout Germany as an agricultural wholesaler and operates a network of locations in Western Pomerania, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt for the retail trade. Beteiligungsgesellschaft , Ratzeburg, and Beiselen Holding , Ulm, intend to pool their activities under a joint holding company.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: 'We have carefully examined the proposed merger between Beiselen and ATR and have no serious competition concerns about the project. The parties' powerful market position in the sale of plant protection products to farmers in parts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is limited by comparatively strong competitors. Our competitive assessment focused in particular on the greater Rostock area, in which ATR has a leading market position. In spite of the pooling of the business activities of the two companies, we see no indications that the existing intensive competition would be significantly restricted by the merger. Unlike ATR, the competitors are already integrated into the wholesale trade so that the project will not lead to a one-sided competitive advantage. In our assessment we accounted for the fact that the crop protection markets have shrunk in the last few years, resulting in overcapacities.'

Beiselen is a private agricultural trading company which is active at both the wholesale and retail level with a turnover of almost 1.3 billion euros (2019) and operates primarily in Western Pomerania, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. is a family-owned company which in 2019 achieved approx. 800 million euros in turnover mainly in agricultural trading in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg.

The merger affects the markets for the purchase of grain and oil seeds and sale of seeds, plant protection products and fertilizers to farmers. In terms of the geographic market affected, the activities of the two companies overlap in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which was the focus of the competitive assessment.

The merger will generate high joint market shares for the parties in the sale of plant protection products to farmers in the greater Rostock area. However, apart from the parties, Nord and Ceravis are two other comparably strong competitors which are already vertically integrated in or closely linked with the wholesale trade. After carefully examining the merger, the Bundeskartellamtdoes not expect it to restrict the intensive competition in the market. Consequently it was possible to clear the project in the first phase of merger control.

Withdrawal of notification of the RWZ / Raiwa merger

The proposed merger between Raiffeisen Waren-Zentrale Rhein-Main Cologne (), and Raiffeisen Waren , Kassel () also affects the agricultural trade. The parties withdrew their notification on 28 December, 2020 after the Bundeskartellamt had initiated a second phase proceeding. The companies intend to restructure their merger project and are holding discussions with the Bundeskartellamt.

Press release (pdf)