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Brussels, 29 April 2008

Mergers: the Commission clears acquisition of sole control of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône by Electrabel

The European Commission has authorised under the EC Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control of the French company Compagnie nationale du Rhône (CNR), the second largest electricity producer in France, by the Belgian electricity producer Electrabel SA. The Commission concluded that the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Electrabel is a subsidiary of the Suez Group and produces and sells electricity and related services. It also sells natural gas and manages electricity and natural gas distribution networks for some distribution network operators in Belgium.

CNR operates the river Rhône under concession for the French State. It is an electricity generator and supplier. CNR also provides river engineering services in France and some twenty countries worldwide.

The two companies' activities overlap in wholesale electricity generation and sale, electricity trading, regulating power and ancillary services and the supply of electricity to final customers. The two companies are also involved in river engineering.

Since their activities do not overlap significantly on any of the relevant markets and they face strong competition, in particular from EDF in France, the Commission has concluded that the merger does not give rise to any competition concerns.

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