The Federal Trade Commission has ended the obligation of KKR Associates, L.P., of New York City, to obtain FTC approval before making acquisitions in certain food product categories, including packaged nuts, shelf-stable oriental foods, or catsup. The prior-approval requirement was part of a consent order settling charges that KKR's 1989 acquisition of RJR Nabisco, one of the nation's leading food companies violated antitrust laws. The FTC deleted the provision pursuant to its recently announced prior-approval policy. Under that policy, the FTC said that with certain exceptions, it will no longer routinely include prior-approval provisions in orders stemming from merger cases and that it presumes that the public interest requires reopening such provisions in outstanding merger orders and making them consistent with the policy.
The 1989 order allowed KKR to acquire RJR Nabisco, but required that KKR divest assets of either Beatrice/Hunt Wesson or RJR in certain food product categories, including packaged nuts. It also prohibited KKR and RJR, for 10 years, from making certain acquisitions involving packaged nuts, shelf-stable oriental foods, or catsup without prior Commission approval. The order was previously modified in 1993.
The Commission vote to reopen the 1989 order and set aside the prior-approval provision was 5-0.
Copies of the Commission order, the petition and other documents relating to this case are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC Docket No. C-3253)