The Autorité de la Concurrence Fines Cofepp for Acquiring Control of MBWS Without Prior Notification of the Transaction

Overview


By a decision dated 12 April 2022, the French Competition Authority (FCA) fined the Compagnie Financière Européenne de Prises de Participation (“Cofepp”) up to 7 million euros, for having closed the takeover of the company Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (i) without first notifying the operation to the FCA and (ii) prior to its authorization.

This new gun-jumping decision rendered by the FCA, following the Marine Harvest judgment of the European Court of Justice in 2020, sends a very strong message to companies in their activities of external growth, in particular when they take minority and then gradually controlling stakes and, to a certain extent, a very useful message since it provides indications on the tipping point between absence of control vs. control and therefore no notification vs. mandatory notification.

Read the full OTS in French here.