European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of power conversion company Converteam by General Electric
Brussels, 25 July 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of sole control of French power conversion company Converteam Group SAS by US conglomerate General Electric ("GE") via GE Energy. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns in the European Economic Area ("EEA") because of the parties' moderate market shares and the presence of a number of credible competitors in the markets concerned.
The proposed transaction leads to vertical links in a number of markets, in particular as regards large electric motors that both Converteam and GE supply to the downstream market of compressor trains, where GE is active. Compressor trains are used to pressurise different types of liquids and gases (including air) by reducing their volume in a wide variety of applications, including the oil and gas industry. Given the moderate market shares of both Converteam and GE on the upstream and the downstream markets and the presence of a number of credible competitors at both levels in the EEA, the Commission 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 31 May 2011.
Both GE and Converteam are present in the field of power conversion equipment and solutions used to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy, mechanical energy to electrical energy, or electrical energy into another form of electrical energy.
GE is a global, diversified manufacturing, technology and services company. GE is made up of a number of business units among which the business unit involved in this transaction—GE Energy—supplies power generation and energy delivery technologies in a number of areas in the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy, as well as with renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and alternative fuels.
Converteam provides products and engineering solutions to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy and vice versa to customers such as shipbuilders, power generation companies as well as oil, gas and petrochemical companies, among others.
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 Article 1 of the Merger Regulation). Its duty is to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)1 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:
Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)
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