EU takeover greenlight sets Solvay up as world leader

5th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Belgian chemicals giant Solvay's bid to become a world leader reached the finishing line on Friday, when EU anti-trust regulators cleared its 3.4-billion-euro ($4.8-billion) takeover of France's Rhodia.

The European Commission said checks "concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because a sufficient number of competitors will remain active on all markets concerned."

Brussels regulators decided that "there will be a number of credible and significant competitors who will continue to exercise a competitive constraint on the merged entity in each of the relevant markets."

The EU decision was the last remaining hurdle to the new business, expected to have annual sales of some 12 billion euros, benefitting from an increased exposure to emerging markets, thanks to Rhodia's stronger presence in Brazil and China.

"We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Solvay corporate spokesman Erik De Leye after the decision was made public, with only the technicalities of share acquisition still to be concluded.

The EU looked particularly at what it considered might be overlaps in the sale of polyamides plastics to the auto manufacturing industry.

The deal was expected to bring annual cost savings of 250 million euros within three years.

© 2011 AFP

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