* European Commission approval is unconditional
* Cemex addition of Holcim's Spanish unit still under review
* Holcim yet to notify EU on proposed Lafarge merger
(Adds Cemex decline to comment, Holcim shares)
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, June 4 Cement maker Holcim
will win EU antitrust approval for acquiring the German
operations of Mexican rival Cemex, two people with
direct knowledge of the matter said, as one side of a swap that
gives Cemex assets in Spain.
The European Commission is investigating Holcim's plan to
swap its assets in Spain for Cemex's operations in Germany due
to concerns that the deal may reduce competition and result in
higher prices in both countries.
The sources said on Wednesday the EU competition authority
would clear the German deal unconditionally.
The Commission spokesman for competition policy, Antoine
Colombani, as well as Switzerland-based Holcim and Cemex
declined to comment.
Holcim's shares gained 0.4 percent after the Reuters report
and were up 2.6 percent at 80 francs by 1416 GMT.
The Commission is scheduled to decide on the German deal by
July 8 and the Spanish case by Sept. 5. The companies unveiled
the asset swap plan in August last year.
The Czech competition agency has already cleared a third
element of the deal under which Cemex purchased Holcim's Czech
Holcim is also preparing to seek clearance for a plan to buy
French rival Lafarge to create the world's biggest
cement maker. The companies intend to sell about 5 billion euros
of assets to ease competition concerns.
(Additional reporting by Oliver Hirt in Zurich and Gabriela
Lopez in Monterrey; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Jane Baird and