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Bulgaria's anti-trust body to impose fine on Agria Group Holding

Bulgaria's anti-trust body to impose fine on Agria Group Holding Author: Agria Group Holding. License: All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 6 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's competition authority said that it has decided to impose a fine on Agria Group Holding [BUL:A72] for failure to properly notify the regulator about the acquisition of local company Kehlibar.

The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) has found evidence that Agria Group Holding had not notified the anti-trust body of the transaction in compliance with the CRC requirements even though it was obliged to, CPC said in a statement on Monday.

The CPC also said that had it been properly notified, it would have unquestionably issued a clearance for the transaction.

The fine cannot exceed 10% of Agria's turnover for the previous fiscal year, according to Bulgaria's law on protection of competition.

Agria Group Holding can object to the decision within 30 days since receiving it. 

The regulator was not notified of the transaction despite the fact that the combined turnover of Agria Group Holding and Kehlibar exceeded the threshold which makes anti-trust clearance mandatory, according to data from the two companies' annual financial statements for 2015, CPC said when it opened proceedings in August 2018. 

Agria Group Holding's total consolidated turnover amounted to 114.2 million levs ($65.3 million/58.4 million euro) in 2015, while Kehlibar posted a turnover of 39.6 million levs.

In August 2016, Agria Group Holding signed a deal to acquire 100% of Kehlibar from private individual Svetlomir Todorov. Kehlibar's share capital at the time totalled 760,000 levs, divided into 7,600 shares of 100 levs in par value each.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)