SSAB wins conditional EU approval for Rautaruukki deal

BRUSSELS Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:39am EDT

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Swedish steelmaker SSAB (SSABa.ST) gained European Union regulatory approval on Tuesday for its $1.6 billion bid for Finnish peer Rautaruukki Corp RTRKS.HE after agreeing to sell five businesses in Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The Rautaruukki deal comes as the steel industry tries to tackle over-capacity and failing demand.

The European Commission said SSAB will divest steel service centers in Sweden and Finland, a 50 percent stake in two Norwegian-based joint ventures, a Finnish distribution subsidiary and a Finnish construction business.

The EU antitrust watchdog said the asset sales eased its concerns that the deal could lead to higher prices for consumers and reduce competition for certain carbon steel products.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Adrian Croft)

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