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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Belgian health company Omega Pharma by private equity fund manager Waterland and Belgian Alychlo

Brussels, 14 December 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Omega Pharma NV, a Belgian provider of Over-the-Counter (OTC) health care products, by the Belgian holding company Alychlo NV and a fund controlled by Waterland Private Equity Investment B.V.

The Commission concluded that the merged entity would continue to face effective competition in the markets for OTC pharmaceuticals and other health care products as well as in the respective downstream distribution markets.

Omega Pharma supplies own OTC pharmaceutical and other health and personal care products and distributes third party products. Since one of the funds managed by Waterland controls Arseus NV, which to a limited extent also supplies own and third party health care products, the transaction results in horizontal and vertical effects in Belgium and The Netherlands.

However, these effects are minor in view of the very small increment that Arseus represents for the merged entity, its modest position in the downstream markets and the presence of strong competitors. The proposed transaction will therefore not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)1 or any substantial part of it.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 9 November 2011.

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:

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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