July 13, 2011 / 9:21 AM / 7 years ago

EU clears Finnish deal for UPM to acquire Myllykoski

BRUSSELS, July 13 (Reuters) - Finnish forestry producs and paper group UPM-Kymmene UPM1V.HE secured EU regulatory approval on Wednesday to buy debt-laden rival Myllykoski in a deal valued at about 900 million euros ($1.29 billion).

The takeover, unveiled in December last year, is intended to boost a sector struggling with overcapacity and weak demand that has lasted for almost a decade. [ID:nLDE6BK03E]

The European Commission, the competition watchdog for the 27-state EU, did not require any concessions from the companies despite initial competition concerns, confirming a Reuters report in June. [ID:nLDE75K1RL]

“The Commission’s in-depth investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned,” the EU executive said in a statement.

The Commission had opened an investigation into the takeover in March, concerned that the deal could result in price increases in magazine paper after a majority of customers complained.

UPM competes with Sweden’s SCA (SCAb.ST) and Holmen (HOLMb.ST), Finnish-Swedish rival Stora Enso (STERV.HE), Norway’s Norske Skog NSG.OL, and M-Real MRLBV.HE of Finland.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Rex Merrifield

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