Competition watchdog's member pushed for backing MG Baltic in Alita deal - State Security Dept.

Alita sparking wine

Elonas Šatas, a deputy chairman of Lithuania's Competition Council, pushed for backing MG Baltic business group's bid to acquire shares of Alita, one of the largest alcohol producers in Lithuania, according to a report by the country's State Security department.

The report states that "the need to have "its own man" on the Competition Council arouse for MG Baltic since the group wanted to buy Alita shares since 2008.

"Incumbent Council member Satas became that man after serving as head of the Competitions Council's Law and Competition Department," the SSD says.

MG Baltic says this information is "complete misunderstanding" as part of it is based on "information provided by competitors".

"What if the SSD's activities were judged based on the KGB's information and that information was taken seriously?' Tadas Marciukaitis, spokesman for MG Baltic, told BNS Lithuania.

Meanwhile, Šarūnas Keserauskas, chairman of the Competition Council, says he trusts his deputy.

"Our country is not large, people talk. I trust Elonas as a colleague and believe that he's aware of what is allowed and what is not. There's been a lot of business communication related to these companies' deals. We all collectively made decisions, not Elonas alone. I did not see any reason for distrust, all the more so nobody warned me that there's something that might affect our decision," Keserauskas told BNS Lithuania.

Source: BNS
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