EU regulator clears Billerud, Kinnevik deal

BRUSSELS Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:24pm EST

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Swedish packaging companies Kinnevik and Billerud (BILL.ST) won EU regulatory approval on Tuesday for their planned merger which will create a company with annual sales of about 20 billion crowns ($2.99 billion).

Kinnevik, owner of the rival paper company Korsnas, promised to sell Korsnas' white sack kraft paper and white machine finished/unglazed kraft paper business, the European Commission said in a statement.

The EU competition watchdog said Kinnevik also agreed to a number of input supply agreements with the purchaser of this unit.

The Commission said a preliminary review of the proposed merger showed the deal would have led to too high a market share in this sector.

"The commitments offered by the parties address these concerns," the EU authority said.

The merger is the latest in an industry battling with weak prices due to overcapacity.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek. Editing by Foo Yun Chee)

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