EC clears US Arsenal’s acquisition of DSM Special Products

09 January 2009 17:01  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--The European Commission (EC) has approved the planned acquisition of DSM Special Products (DSP) by US private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners, it said on Friday.

The approval came after Arsenal – which owns chemical producer Velsicol/Genovique – committed to divest a plant in Estonia that makes liquid and solid benzoic acid, as well as sodium benzoate, the EC said.

Without the divestment, the acquisition would have resulted in a quasi-monopoly in solid benzoic acid, said competition commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The buyer of the divested business would be a credible alternative supplier in the market, the commission said. It did not disclose to which company the business would be sold.

Benzoic acid is used as an antimicrobial preservative in food and drinks, in plasticisers, pharmaceutical goods and pet food, among other applications.

Netherlands-based chemicals major DSM agreed in March 2008 to sell DSP to Arsenal. The commission, worried about competition impacts in the European Economic Area, later launched an in-depth investigation of the deal.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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