European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Finnish Luvata's rolled copper products division by German copper producer Aurubis
Brussels, 8 August 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the rolled copper products division ("LRP") of the Finnish Luvata Espoo Oy by German copper manufacturer Aurubis AG. The Commission found that the merged entity will continue to be constrained by a number of credible competitors in the markets concerned.
The Commission examined the transaction's impact on the supply of copper shapes, pre-rolled-strip and rolled copper products, as well as oxygen-free (OF-Cu) copper products.
The proposed transaction would lead to high combined market shares in particular in the market for shapes and in some sub-segments of the market for rolled copper products. In addition, the transaction gives rise to significant vertical overlaps as copper shapes and pre-rolled strips are used in the downstream market for the manufacture of rolled products.
However, sufficient alternative suppliers will remain post-merger. In particular, with respect to the vertical overlap in the OF-Cu segment, competitors in OF-Cu rolled products will retain sufficient supply possibilities post-transaction for OF-Cu shapes and their customers will have the ability to switch to other non-OF-Cu rolled products or to other non-EEA suppliers in the event of a price increase post-transaction.
The Commission, therefore, concluded that the transaction would not raise significant competition concerns.
Aurubis is one of the main copper producers in Europe with production sites in seven European countries. It is active in the production of primary copper (cathodes) and semi-finished copper products as well as recycling. LRP is one of the four divisions of Luvata and manufactures thin rolled products (sheets, strips and plates) from copper and copper alloy for industrial use. To avoid a direct horizontal overlap on the market for oxygen-free copper shapes, the Parties have carved out Luvata's oxygen-free foundry from the transaction.
The acquisition was notified to the Commission on 1 July this year.
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 acquisitions that would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (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).
EU merger clearance does not prejudge the result of other possible probes under State aid or antitrust rules.
More information on the case will be available at:
Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)
Maria Madrid Pina (+32 2 295 4530)