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UPDATE 1-EU regulators to clear Suedzucker, ED&F Man deal -source
April 27, 2012 / 10:01 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-EU regulators to clear Suedzucker, ED&F Man deal -source

* Suedzucker agreed to sell a minor asset to ease regulatory concerns

* EU Commission deadline for decision is May 22

* Suedzucker is Europe’s largest sugar company

* ED&F Man is world’s second-largest sugar trader

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, April 27 (Reuters) - German sugar producer Suedzucker is set to win EU approval to buy a 25 percent stake less one share in British commodities trader ED&F Man for $255 million after agreeing to sell a minor asset, a person familiar with the decision said on Friday.

The European Commission, which as regulator is studying the deal, is expected to give its approval for the acquisition of the stake next month, said the source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The Commission has set a May 22 deadline for a 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. Its shares were unchanged at 23 euros by 0930 GMT.

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.

The Commission said in November last year when it launched an in-depth investigation that it was concerned about the companies’ high combined market shares in the refined sugar market, which was already a concentrated sector.

It also cited worries about the impact on the molasses and raw cane sugar markets and the effect on rivals and consumers.

Suedzucker has 29 sugar factories and three refineries in Germany, Belgium, Bosnia, France, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Moldova.

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