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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of energy company Nuon's Belgian assets by ENI

Brussels, 8 December 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Nuon Belgium and Nuon Power Generation Walloon, together the Belgian assets of Nuon, by the Italian energy group ENI. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns in the European Economic Area (EEA)1 because of the parties' relatively moderate market shares and the presence of a number of credible competitors in the markets concerned.

The proposed transaction leads to an overlap in the parties' activities for the retail supply of gas to large industrial and commercial customers. However, given the relatively modest combined market shares of the parties and the resulting minimal increment, there are no competition concerns. Moreover, the parties have very low combined market shares for supplying small industrial and commercial customers, and will continue to face a very significant competitor on this market.

As ENI is also active on a number of other markets, in particular in the wholesale supply of gas, the proposed transaction leads to vertical relationships. However given the target's limited market shares on the retail markets, the Commission concluded that no competition concerns arise from this integration.

The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed transaction will not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 4 November 2011.

Background

ENI Group is an integrated energy group based in Italy and active worldwide in the research, production, transport, transformation and marketing of oil and gas. ENI also generates and sells electricity, petrochemicals, oilfield services and construction and engineering services. In Belgium, ENI is present mainly through its subsidiary Distrigas, which is active on a number of gas supply markets.

Nuon Belgium is a gas and electricity retailer in Belgium and is the mother company of Nuon Wind Belgium that owns and operates a power generating wind farm with three turbines in Belgium.

Nuon Power Generation Walloon is a company established to develop a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power generation project in Belgium.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation ) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=2_M_6389

Contacts :

Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)

1 :

The EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


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