March 6, 2009 / 9:51 AM / 10 years ago

EU mergers and takeovers (March 6)

BRUSSELS, March 6 (Reuters) - The following are mergers under review by the European Commission, and a brief guide to the EU merger process:


— Austrian construction and building materials firm Strabag SE (STRV.VI) and German counterpart Kemna Bau Andreae GmbH & Co KG to take joint control of German peer Hermann Wellmann Tiefbau GmbH & Co KG (approved March 5)


— U.S. undertaking Oaktree, belonging to investment management firm Oaktree Group, to acquire British residential and commercial property services provider Countrywide, solely controlled by U.S. investment fund management firm Apollo Group (notified March 2/deadline April 6/simplified)





— France’s Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) and French holding company TSA THMP.PA, controlled by the French state, acquire joint control of French defence electronics firm Thales (TCFP.PA) (notified Feb. 3/deadline March 10)


— German chemical products company BASF SE BASF.DE to acquire Swiss specialty chemicals firm Ciba Holding CIBN.VX (notified Jan. 22/deadline Feb. 26/extended on Feb. 20/new deadline March 12)


— United Arab Emirates investment firm International Petroleum Investment Co to acquire German industrial services provider MAN Ferrostaal AG (MANG.DE) (notified Jan. 23/deadline Feb. 27/extended on Feb. 24/new deadline March 13)


— French insurer CNP Assurances S.A (CNPP.PA) to take control of Irish life insurer CNP Unicredit Life (notified Feb. 11/deadline March 18/simplified)

— French electricity undertaking EDF International, controlled by power giant Electricite de France SA (EDF.PA), and German electricity company EnBW (EBKG.DE), to acquire Polish energy generator Kogeneracja KGEN.WA (notified Feb. 11/deadline March 18/simplified)

— French energy group EDF International, controlled by power giant Electricite de France (EDF.PA), and German counterpart EnBW (EBKG.DE) take joint control of Polish power firm ERSA (notified Feb. 11/deadline March 18/simplified)


— French public financial services provider Dexia Credit Local, owned by Belgian banking group Dexia (DEXI.BR), takes control of Austrian counterpart Dexia Kommunalkredit Bank AG, jointly controlled by Dexia CL and Kommunalkredit Austria AG (notified Feb. 12/deadline March 19/simplified)

— Antin Infrastructure Partners FCPR, a French investment fund sponsored by banking group BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA); investment funds BBEIF LH Sub 06 S.a.r.l of Luxembourg and BBI Europe Holdings of Luxembourg, both belonging to Babcock & Brown Ltd BBI.AX of Australia, take joint control of BBI Europe Holdings S.a.r.l of Luxembourg, which operates ports and cargo handling services (notified Feb. 12/deadline March 19/simplified)


— French media group Lagardere SCA (LAGA.PA), through its French publishing subsidiary Hachette Filippacchi Press HFP, and Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp (8053.T), to acquire joint control of Japanese publisher Hachette FujinGaho (notified Feb. 13/deadline March 20/simplified)

— Luxembourg’s Fortezza RE, belonging to U.S. alternative investment company Fortress Investment Group LLC FIG.N, and Italian global investment firm Pioneer Investment Management, belonging to Unicredit (CRDI.MI), to acquire joint control of Italian asset management company Torre SGR SpA (notified Feb. 13/deadline March 20/simplified)


— Electrabel International Holdings, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of French gas and electricity company GDF Suez SA GSZ.PA, and Greek real estate and energy company GEK SA (HRMr.AT) to acquire joint control over Heron Thermoelectric SA and Heron II Viotia Thermoelectric Station SA, two companies incorporated under Greek law and currently fully owned by the GEK Group (notified Feb. 17/deadline March 24/simplified)


— Dutch private equity investment firm Gilde Buy Out Fund III to acquire Dutch poultry meat company Plukon Royale BV (notified Feb. 18/deadline March 25/simplified)


— Computer monitor and display maker TPV Technology Ltd (0903.HK) of Bermuda to acquire Dutch counterpart Monitors & Displays Holding BV (Philips Holdco), currently controlled by Dutch company Philips Electronics N.V. (PHG.AS) (notified Feb. 20/deadline March 27)


— British leisure travel company Thomas Cook Group (TCG.L), which is controlled by German retail and tourism group Arcandor AG AROG.DE, to acquire British independent tour operator Gold Metal International (notified Feb. 23/deadline March 30)

— British food retail group Associated British Foods Plc (ABF.L) to acquire Azucarera Ebro SL, the Spanish sugar arm of Ebro Puleva EVA.MC (notified Feb. 23/deadline March 30)

— German gas and electricity supplier EON AG EONG.DE to acquire Italian electricity supplier MPE Energia Spa, through its subsidiary EON Italia Spa (notified Feb. 23/deadline March 30/simplified)


— Greek diversified metals and engineering group Mytilineos Holding SA (MYTr.AT) and Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries SA (MORr.AT), a refiner and retailer of petroleum products, take joint control of Corinthos Power SA, a Greek electricity generation joint venture (notified Feb. 25/deadline April 1)

— U.S. television channel Game Show Network LLC, jointly controlled by media and online commerce group Liberty Media Corp LINTA.O and entertainment group Sony Pictures Entertainment, a unit of Sony Corp (6758.T), to buy Canadian publisher and distributor of online games Fun Technologies Inc (notified Feb. 25/deadline April 1/simplified)


— Swedish postal services firm Posten, controlled by the Kingdom of Sweden, enters into a full merger with Danish peer Post Danmark, controlled by the Kingdom of Denmark, by way of a share swap (notified Feb. 26/deadline April 2) — Australian communication services provider Vodafone Australia Ltd, belonging to the British Vodafone Group (VOD.L), enters into a full merger with Australian undertaking Hutchison 3G Australia, belonging to Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa 0013.HK. The new entity will be jointly controlled by Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa (notified Feb. 26/deadline April 2/simplified)



— German airline Lufthansa AG (LHAG.DE) to acquire Belgian air transport company SN Airholding SA/NV, which controls Brussels Airlines (notified Nov. 26/deadline Jan. 12/extended on Jan. 6/new deadline Jan. 26/in-depth probe opened Jan. 27/deadline June 10)


The European Commission has 25 working days after a deal is filed for a first-stage review. It may extend that to 35 working days, to consider either a company’s proposed remedies or an EU member state’s request to handle the case.

Most mergers win approval but occasionally the Commission opens a detailed second-stage investigation for up to 90 additional working days, which it may extend to 105 working days.


Under the simplified procedure, the Commission announces the clearance of uncontroversial first-stage mergers without giving any reason for its decision. Cases may be reclassified as non-simplified — that is, ordinary first-stage reviews — until they are approved.

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