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Cobalt Advises Viking Malt Oy in Dispute Over Competition Authority Block

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Cobalt’s Lithuania office has announced that it is assisting Viking Malt Oy in a merger clearance procedure and is acting for the company in court proceedings before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court involving its appeal of a blocking decision by the Lithuanian Competition Council. Cobalt reports that, “to the best of our knowledge,” this is the first-ever appeal of a blocking decision by merging parties in Lithuania.  

Viking Malt Oy produces and supplies malts for breweries and distilleries. It sells its products in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region  and exports them to South America, Africa, Japan, and the Russian Federation. The company was founded in 1883 and is based in Lahti, Finland with malt houses in Lahti, Finland; Panevezys, Lithuania; and Halmstad, Sweden. Viking Malt Oy operates as a subsidiary of Polttimo Oy.

Cobalt reports that Viking Malt Oy notified the Competition Council in spring 2015 of its acquisition of shares in UAB Maltosa — a Lithuanian producer of light malt for Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Moldovan, and Polish beer brewers. After its review of the proposed concentration, the Lithuanian Competition Council prohibited the acquisition, ruling that it would lead to a substantial restriction of competition on the Lithuanian market for pilsner malt.    

The Cobalt team consists of Partner Elijus Burgis and Managing Associates Ieva Sodeikaite and Marius Inta. 

The Court’s ruling is anticipated at the end of April.

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