March 5, 2020 / 7:55 AM / a month ago

Aurubis gives EU commitments over Metallo takeover

HAMBURG, March 5 (Reuters) - Aurubis AG, Europe’s biggest copper smelter, said on Thursday it had agreed to make commitments as it seeks approval from European Union competition authorities for its planned takeover of Belgian-Spanish metal recycling group Metallo.

No details were released by Aurubis, which said it remains confident it will receive EU approval for the deal.

Aurubis in May 2019 agreed to buy Metallo for 380 million euros ($423 million) as part of an acquisition-led expansion into other metals.

EU Commission competition authorities opened an in-depth investigation into the deal in November.

“We can confirm that Aurubis has made assurances to the EU commission, which is not unusual at this stage of the process,” an Aurubis spokesperson said.

The time schedule for the approval process is not changed by this, she said.

“Aurubis remains of the opinion that the merger should be approved without conditions,” she added.

Aurubis’ new CEO Roland Harings told the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in February he hoped for an EU decision on the Metallo deal in April 2020 at the latest.

EU competition authorities in early 2019 blocked a plan by Aurubis to sell its flat rolled products division to German copper products producer Wieland, arguing the deal could lead to higher prices. ($1 = 0.8980 euros) (Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Alexander Smith)

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