EU regulators to approve Suedzucker's ED&F Man stake -source

BRUSSELS, April 27 Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:24am EDT

BRUSSELS, April 27 (Reuters) - EU regulators are to grant German sugar producer Suedzucker conditional approval to buy a near-25 percent stake in British commodities trader ED&F Man for $255 million, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The European Commission, which as regulator is studying the deal, is expected to give the thumbs-up for the stake after Suedzucker agreed to sell a minor asset, said the source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The European Union competition watchdog has set a May 22 deadline for its decision.

Suedzucker, Europe's largest sugar company, makes more than half of its revenues from the sweetener. It posted 6.2 billion euros in group sales in the 2010/2011 year to Feb. 28.

ED&F Man deals in agricultural commodities globally, including sugar, coffee and molasses. It is the world's second-largest dealer in the sugar trade, handling about 8.5 million tonnes in 2010.

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