VILNIUS REGIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE COURT UPHOLDS ALMOST EUR 1 MILLION FINE IMPOSED ON KAUNO GRŪDAI

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Vilnius Regional Administrative Court has rejected the appeal by AB Kauno grūdai against the Competition Council’s decision of 9 June 2017, whereby the company was fined EUR 947,700 for implementing an unnotified merger.

The Council opened the investigation on 21 April 2015 in accordance with the ruling of 15 October 2014 of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania. The Court found that by entering into fictitious transactions, on 12 April 2011 Kauno grūdai acquired about 51 per cent of Vievio paukštynas shares. As a result of these transactions, the real party of the transaction – Kauno grūdai – was concealed in order to avoid merger control procedure set by the Law on Competition.

During the investigation the Council found that having acquired about 51 per cent of Vievio paukštynas shares, Kauno grūdai gained the right to appoint the majority of board members of Vievio paukštynas, ability to make strategic decisions related to the economic activity of the undertaking, actions undertaken by the company‘s governing bodies and the composition of personnel. In addition, Kauno grūdai retained the acquired control during the bankruptcy proceedings of Vievio paukštynas.

The Court’s decision is subject to appeal.