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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of German logistics company Lehnkering by Imperial Mobility of South Africa.

Brussels, 22 December 2011 - Brussels, 22.12.2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Lehnkering of Germany by Imperial Mobility International BV, a subsidiary of Imperial Holdings Limited of South Africa. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity will continue to face competition from a number of strong competitors and customers will still have sufficient alternative suppliers in the markets for the transport of dry bulk products and liquid chemicals in the Rhine area and on the northern Germany rivers and canals.

The Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the markets for inland waterway freight transport and in particular the transport of dry bulk products in the Rhine area and on the northern German rivers and canals and the transport of liquid chemicals in the Rhine area where the transaction leads to affected markets Furthermore the Commission examined the vertical relationship between Imperial's container terminal services in Duisburg and Lehnkering's container transport activities on the Rhine.

The Commission's investigation found that on all these markets a number of competing undertakings with market shares similar to those of the parties will exert sufficient competitive constraint on the merged entity. Regarding the vertical relationship, the Commission found that the market share on the market for container terminal services in Duisburg is not sufficiently high to allow for a restriction of access to container terminal services.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA1) or any substantial part of it.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 17.11.2011.

Background on companies and products

Imperial Mobility is active internationally in the inland waterway transport, transhipment logistics services, warehousing, contract logistics, distribution, freight forwarding, ship clearance and vehicle trade. Lehnkering is a logistics company active predominantly in Germany. Its logistics activities include the transport of liquid gas and chemical preliminary products, dry products on the inland waterways, on road and in combined rail transport mode.

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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