June 26, 2018 / 3:39 PM / 6 months ago

EU to investigate BASF's Solvay nylon deal

FILE PHOTO: European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager addresses a news conference on the investigation into Gazprom, at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 22, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission on Tuesday opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed purchase by Germany’s BASF (BASFn.DE) of Solvay’s nylon business, saying such a deal could reduce competition in the supply of the nylon production chain.

BASF agreed to buy Solvay’s (SOLB.BR) global polyamide business in September for 1.6 billion euros ($1.87 billion), aiming to enhance its access to key growth markets in Asia and South America.

“We need to carefully assess whether the proposed acquisition would lead to higher prices or less choice for European businesses and, ultimately, consumers,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

The Commission, which oversees competition in the European Union, said it has until Oct. 31 to decide on whether it would let the deal go ahead.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Foo Yun Chee

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