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Brussels, 25 March 2011

Mergers: Commission clears proposed takeover of Spanish metal food can manufacturer Mivisa by Blackstone

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Mivisa by Blackstone. Mivisa is a Spanish company that manufactures and supplies metal food cans. Blackstone is a US based global asset manager and provider of financial advisory services. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Mivisa is active in tinplate food can manufacturing primarily for the packaging of fish, vegetables and fruits. In addition, Mivisa sells food can ends and metal caps to other food can makers.

Blackstone is an investment management firm active mainly in financial advisory services, private equity investing and property investment.

Blackstone does not have a controlling interest in any company active in the same market as Mivisa. Via Stolle Machinery it is engaged in the market of food can and can-end making machinery, an activity which is vertically related to Mivisa's activities. But the Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity could not hinder the access of food can producers to food can making machinery or to spare parts. Also food can manufacturers will have access to a sufficient customer base after the transaction.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission, in 1989, was given the power to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Art 1 of the Merger Regulation). The Commission clears the vast majority of mergers without conditions and only accepts remedies or prohibits mergers when the notified transaction would lead to a significant impediment to competition and make consumers worse off.

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).

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 18 February 2011. Further information on the case will be available at:

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