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EXCLUSIVE-Konecranes, Cargotec to gain EU okay for $5.1 bln deal - source

(Adds Cargotec comment, shares)

BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Finnish engineering firm Konecranes and cargo handling machinery maker Cargotec are set to gain conditional EU antitrust approval for their 4.5-billion-euro ($5.1 billion) tie-up to create a global leader, a person familiar with matter said.

The companies, which provide road and sea-cargo handling machinery and services to industries, factories, ports and terminals, announced the deal in October last year but subsequently faced opposition from the European Commission.

Konecranes and Cargotec last month offered to sell assets to address the EU competition enforcer’s concerns that the merger may curb competition and push up prices.

Shares in Cargotec and Konecranes trimmed losses sharply after the Reuters story went out. Cargotec closed 3.07% down froma previous 6.44% decline while Konecranes ended 2.1% lower against a 5.3% drop previously.

The Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by March 3, declined to comment. Cargotec said: “As previously communicated we’re awaiting the authorities’ decision and do not want speculate on the reactions and views of the competition authorities.”

Konecranes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Finnish government’s investment arm Solidium is Konecranes’ second top owner.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority in November last year also warned that the deal could lead to lower service quality or higher prices for port terminals.

Konecranes and Cargotec on Thursday pushed back their merger by the end of the first half of 2022, saying authorities’ remedy requirements were “more complex than expected”.

$1 = 0.8747 euros Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, Editing by Louise Heavens

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