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FTC OKs Nestle Dreyer's Merger

WASHINGTON - The Federal Trade Commission yesterday approved the $2.8 billion merger of Nestle and Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Inc., after the companies agreed to sell off three brands, significantly consolidating the super premium ice cream market.

The companies agreed to sell off Dreyer's Dreamery, Godiva, and Whole Fruit sorbet brands, along with Nestle's U.S. distribution assets, which include warehouses and equipment. The brands are to be sold to Markham, Ontario-based CoolBrands International, which manufactures the Eskimo Pie, Chipwich, and Fruit-A-Freeze brands.

Nestle produces Haagen Dazs, while Oakland, Calif.-based Dreyer's brands include Dreyer's Grand and Edy's Grand on the East Coast.

"We have structured this settlement to preserve the significant competition that have been lost by this merger," said Joe Simons, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. The FTC approved the merger by a 5-0 vote. It is subject to a 30-day comment period before the commission will make it final.
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