Marine Harvest:

General Court upholds EC’s €20m gun-jumping fine and clarifies the public bid exception

On 26 October 2017, the EU’s General Court upheld the European Commission’s decision to impose a fine of €20 million on Marine Harvest for acquiring control over Morpol before the Commission had cleared the deal under the EUMR.

This is the second time in recent years that the Luxembourg court has rejected an appeal against a Commission decision imposing a €20 million penalty for gun-jumping; the first appeal, by Electrabel, also related to an acquisition of de facto control without prior approval.

This judgment is another reminder that bidders should be cautious when they engage in stake-building prior to a public bid, particularly when this is done by means of share purchases off the stock exchange, such as through transactions with a limited number of major shareholders.

Read our full report on the Marine Harvest.