EC clears IPIC for Ferrostaal, but wants melamine divestment

13 March 2009 19:13  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--The European Commission (EC) has cleared the acquisition of German petrochemical plant builder MAN Ferrostaal by Abu Dhabi’s IPIC, subject to IPIC’s commitment to divest Ferrostaal's stake in melamine technology and engineering company Eurotecnica, it said on Friday.

"In view of the remedies offered, I am satisfied that after the proposed takeover, there would be no adverse effects on competition on high quality melamine markets and that customers in the paper, wood, car and other industries would not suffer from reduced choice or higher prices," said competition commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The acquisition, as proposed originally by IPIC, would have reduced competition on the high-quality melamine markets because of a vertical relationship between Eurotecnica and leading Austrian melamine producer Agrolinz Melamine International (AMI), a unit of IPIC-controlled petrochemicals major Borealis, the commission said.

Eurotecnica was currently the only independent supplier of a licence and related engineering services for high-pressure melamine production technology at worldwide level, it added.

In 2005, plans to sell Eurotecnica to Agrolinz were abandoned after the commission announced an in-depth investigation.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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