Competition concerns mean Arkema Solvay tie up unlikely

Belgian group Solvay is unlikely to purchase France’s Arkema due to competition concerns in their European operations, a communications officer told me at yesterday’s final Arkema Christmas Curry event in London.

I sighted synergies in fluorochemicals and the chlor-alkali chain as a good reason for a tie up in a previous post. But those same overlaps, especially in Europe, could mean problems with competition authorities and a lot of post-merger divestments, according to the communications officer I sat next to at the delicious curry at the Bombay Brasserie near GloucesterRoad, west London.

The irrepressible Paul Jukes, chairman of Arkema UK, has been hosting this wonderful event for the last 16 years. It has paid huge dividends for Arkema in the UK in terms of press relations as the event is attended by the entire chemicals and plastics trade press.

Unfortunately Paul is retiring at the end of the year, yet he had something up his sleeve to surprise us. From January he becomes Total’s UK public affairs adviser: perhaps we can hope for the first Total Christmas curry in 2010.

Image below: Chemical Industries Association’s Simon Marsh has a festive drink with Paul Jukes in the pub post-curry

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