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New dairy giant to enter market

The Competition Office (GVH) has granted permission to OTP bank's president
and chief executive Sándor Csányi to buy one of Hungary's leading dairy companies, business daily Világgazdaság said. Csányi, Hungary's richest man who has a number of meat and food processing companies in his portfolio, will increase his current stake and acquire Pécs-based Új-Mizo Rt, the paper said. Új-Mizo is to then merge with Italian-owned Sole Rt, based in Szeged, also in S Hungary. With its 31.7% market share, the new company could take the leading position from Dutch-owned Friesland Hungaria Rt, which controls around 25% of the market. In 2004, Sole reported turnover of Ft 34.6 billion and Új-Mizo Ft 27 billion, while Friesland had sales revenue of Ft 56.8 billion.
The merger still requires approval from the two companies' shareholders, due to meet next week, said the paper. The merger required preliminary approval from the competition office because the two companies had net sales revenue of more than Ft 10 billion in 2004 and Új-Mizo and its companies had sales revenue of more than Ft 500 million.