French watchdog approves Solvay's friendly bid for Rhodia

10th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

France's financial markets watchdog has approved Belgian chemicals group Solvay's friendly bid for French rival Rhodia, which would create a world leader in the sector, authorities said Tuesday.

Solvay last month announced an offer which values Rhodia at 3.4 billion euros ($4.8 billion), and which the boards of both companies have accepted.

The bid now needs to receive the approval of US and European competition authorities as well as the French economic ministry, the Financial Markets Authority said in a statement.

On the Belgian bourse Solvay shares soared by almost 10 percent on the day in a market up 1.5 percent.

A combined Solvay-Rhodia would have annual sales of 12 billion euros, with an increased exposure to Asia, while the deal itself should bring annual cost savings of 250 million euros within three years.

The new company will derive 40 percent of its sales from emerging markets, thanks to Rhodia's strong presence in Brazil and China.

© 2011 AFP

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