EU clears Rio Tinto's sale of leading talc company

8th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

European Union regulators cleared on Friday a bid by French minerals firm Imerys to acquire the world's biggest talc producer, Luzenac, from Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto.

Imerys announced in February its intention to buy Luzenac for $340 million (250 million euros) in an effort to diversify its portfolio.

The European Commission, the European Union's competition watchdog, said the transaction "would not significantly alter the structure of the market for talc" or "significantly impede effective competition" in the 27-nation EU.

Imerys is active in the extraction and processing of industrial minerals with 240 industrial facilities in 47 countries, but it is not involved in the production or sale of talc.

Owned by Rio Tinto since 1988, Luzenac is named after a southern French village located in Europe's biggest talc deposit.

Luzenac produces, ships and sells to more than 100 countries a wide range of talc products from mines and processing plants in Europe, North America, Central America, and Asia-Pacific.

Talc is used in a vast array of products, including animal feed, cosmetics, fertilizers, paints, pharmaceuticals, plastics, roofing, and talcum powder.

© 2011 AFP

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