December 21, 2017 / 11:12 AM / 2 years ago

EU clears merger of French aerospace suppliers Safran and Zodiac

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Safran Group is seen on the company's headquarters building in Toulouse, Southwestern France, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission cleared the merger of French aerospace suppliers Safran (SAF.PA) and Zodiac ZODC.PA without imposing conditions, the EU executive said on Thursday.

Reuters had reported exclusively last Friday that the Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the European Union, would let the deal go ahead.

While both companies supply aircraft electrical systems, the Commission said the increase in market share the merger caused was very limited and the newly formed group would not gain power over suppliers and customers.

“Both Safran and Zodiac are significant French actors in the aeronautics markets but competition in these markets in Europe will remain strong,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Safran made a $7.7 billion bid for Zodiac in May, saying the deal would boost its position in making smarter and more connected aircraft, targeting planemakers such as Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N).

The Safran-Zodiac deal is one of several in the aerospace industry at the moment. Among these are United Technologies Corp’s $23 billion plan to buy avionics maker Rockwell Collins Inc COL.N.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Alastair Macdonald

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