(Adds ThyssenKrupp, Outokumpu, Commission comments)
By Foo Yun Chee and Tom Käckenhoff
BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT Oct 30 Finnish steelmaker
Outokumpu will win regulatory approval for its
proposed 2.7 billion euro ($3.5 billion) purchase of
ThyssenKrupp's Inoxum, two sources said on Tuesday.
Outokumpu, Europe's No. 4 stainless steel producer, last
month offered to sell Inoxum's prized mill in Terni, Italy, to
secure the European Commission's approval. The Commission had
said that an earlier proposal to sell Swedish operations was
"There are indications the Commission will approve it with
conditions," said one of the sources, who is familiar with the
National regulators from the 27 European Union member
nations were briefed on the Commission's decision last week,
another source said.
ThyssenKrupp said it was optimistic it would be able to
conclude the deal by the end of the year, creating the world's
biggest stainless steel producer.
Outokumpu and the European Commission declined to comment.
The Commission has set a Nov. 16 deadline for its decision,
but it is likely to rule on the deal before that date.
Loss-making Outokumpu this month defended its offer to
dispose of the Terni mill, saying that it still expected to the
Inoxum deal to generate annual savings of about 200 million
euros, down from an original estimate of 225 million to 250
The Commission said in May that it was worried about the
merged company's high market shares in slabs and in hot-rolled
and cold-rolled stainless steel products.
Outokumpu also competes with Spain's Acerinox and
($1 = 0.7749 euros)
(Additional reporting by Terhi Kinnunen in Helsinki; Editing by
Rex Merrifield and David Goodman)