* European Commission objected to the deal last month
* Commission declines comment
* Commission to publish decision by Sept. 12
(Adds European Commission, Holcim and Cemex decline to comment)
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, Aug 4 Mexican cement producer Cemex
is set to secure unconditional European Union
antitrust approval for its planned acquisition of Swiss peer
Holcim's Spanish units, a person familiar with the
matter said on Monday.
The European Commission, the EU executive, voiced its
objections to the deal last month, another source had told
Reuters, ramping up pressure on Cemex to offer concessions to
allay its concerns.
Cemex has convinced the European Commission that the deal
will not reduce competition in Spain, said the source, who
declined to be named because the decision is not yet public.
Commission spokeswoman Emer Traynor, Cemex and Holcim
declined to comment on the decision, which will be made public
by Sept. 12.
The EU competition watchdog's preliminary review showed the
takeover would substantially curb competition in the grey cement
market in certain parts of Spain.
The Spanish deal is part of an exchange of assets between
Cemex and Holcim announced in August last year, with the
companies looking to cost savings to offset tough conditions in
the construction sector.
Holcim gained unconditional EU clearance last month to buy
Cemex's German businesses. It is now in informal talks with the
Commission on its plan to merge with French peer Lafarge
to create the world's biggest cement maker.
Securing the EU green light for the Spanish deal will
eliminate one potential competition concern over the Lafarge
(Additional reporting by Caroline Copley in Zurich and Elinor
Comlay in Mexico City; editing by Barbara Lewis and David