The European Commission has announced it accepted the referral request submitted by Luxembourg to assess, under the European Merger Regulation, Luxembourg's Brasserie Nationale's (also known as the Bofferding Brewery) acquisition of Boissons Heintz, both based in Luxembourg.

The transaction mainly concerns the wholesale distribution of drinks in Luxembourg.

According to the European Commission, the proposed transaction does not meet the turnover thresholds set by the European Merger Regulation and has therefore not been notified to the Commission. Furthermore, the transaction does not cross the merger control notification thresholds of any State in the European Economic Area (EEA). On 7 February 2024, the Luxembourg Competition Authority submitted a referral request to the Commission in accordance with Article 22(1) of the EU Merger Regulation. This provision allows Member States to request the Commission to examine a concentration which does not have a European dimension, but which affects trade between Member States and threatens to significantly affect competition in the territory of the State(s) members who make this request. No other EEA Member State has joined Luxembourg's initial referral request, the European Commission noted.

Based on the information provided by the requesting country, and without prejudice to the outcome of its full investigation, the Commission noted that the transaction meets the referral criteria provided for in Article 22 of the European Merger Regulation. The transaction may affect trade between Member States, given the importance of imports of drinks into Luxembourg, and threatens to significantly affect competition in the EU country that requests it to examine the deal, since it combines the two main distributors in wholesale of drinks in Luxembourg.

The Commission asked Brasserie Nationale to notify the transaction.

Munhowen, part of the Brasserie Nationale Group, and the largest beverage wholesaler in Luxembourg, acknowledged that the European Commission has initiated an investigation into the acquisition of Boissons Heintz, following a complaint by AB-InBev to the Luxembourg competition authority. The group added that this marks the first instance of such an investigation involving two regional players with a combined turnover of less than €130 million. Despite this, Munhowen added it remains confident in the pro-competitive nature of the merger; the group expressed readiness to cooperate with the Commission. Munhoven emphasised its commitment to providing quality service to its clients, with "no anticipated impact on customers or relationships with suppliers". The investigation is expected to conclude swiftly, although Munhowen noted it is currently unaware of the rationale behind the Commission's decision.