KKR Associates, L.P., of New York City, on behalf of itself and other respondents, has asked the Federal Trade Commission to reopen and modify a 1989 consent order to delete a provision that requires prior Commission approval of the acquisition of any company that licenses, trademarks or packages nuts. The order stems from KKR's 1989 acquisition of RJR Nabisco, one of the nation's leading food companies.
The order required KKR, among other things, to divest assets of either Beatrice/Hunt Wesson or RJR Nabisco in certain food product categories, including packaged nuts. At the time of the acquisition, KKR controlled Beatrice/Hunt Wesson and the FTC complaint alleged that the acquisition could substantially reduce competition in the production and distribution of packaged nuts and other products.
In its petition, KKR requests deletion of the prior approval clause pursuant to a policy announced by the Commission in June 1995, under which the Commission will no longer routinely require parties to a challenged merger to obtain prior approval for future transactions. In addition, the Commission will operate on the presumption that the public interest requires modifying prior approval provisions in outstanding merger orders to follow the new policy.
The petition will be placed on the public record and will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until August 25. Comments should be addressed to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
Copies of 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 FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording 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)