Last year, Rodyk acted for Heineken International B.V. (Heineken), in obtaining a successful merger clearance decision by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) on 5 November 2012, for its high-profile S$ 8.1 billion acquisition of Asia Pacific Breweries Limited (APB) and Asia Pacific Investment Pte Ltd (APIPL) from Fraser & Neave Limited (F&N) (the "Transaction"). The Transaction was subsequently completed on 15 November 2012.
In January of this year however, the CCS commenced an investigation (the "Investigation") of a clause contained in the Share Purchase Agreement of the Transaction, restricting Heineken from engaging in the manufacture, distribution and sales of soft drinks, for a period of two (2) years, expiring on 14 November 2014 (the "Non-compete Clause"). In the course of the Investigation, Rodyk assisted Heineken in its responses to the CCS.
F&N subsequently gave a signed undertaking to the CCS, voluntarily agreeing not to enforce the Non-compete Clause against Heineken with respect to the Singapore market. As a result, CCS exercised its discretion to cease the Investigation earlier this month, without a finding of liability against both Heineken and F&N.
In its media release dated 4 November 2013, announcing the cessation of its investigation of this matter, the CCS stated, "...CCS is of the view that the contractual impediment to Heineken to enter the local soft drinks market is now removed. Accordingly, CCS has ceased its investigations but will continue to closely monitor market practices in the local soft drinks market."
Rodyk's competition team is privileged to have acted once again for Heineken in this matter. We are pleased with both the CCS' approach, and the outcome of its investigations, which have been lauded as being simultaneously responsive to competition concerns, efficient, and pro-business in nature.