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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves joint venture between Freudenberg and Trelleborg in anti-vibration systems for automobiles sector

Brussels, 14 May 2012 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of Trelleborg Vibracoustic, a joint venture combining the automotive anti-vibration systems activities of Freudenberg of Germany and Trelleborg of Sweden. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because a number of strong competitors will remain active on the market. As a result, customers will still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all the markets concerned.

The joint venture will operate in the development, production and sale of anti-vibration systems for automobiles on a worldwide basis. The activities of the parties overlap in the supply of anti-vibration systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. In particular, appreciable overlaps arise in relation to engine mounts, chassis mounts and torsional vibration dampers (TVD).

However, after the completion of the transaction, the joint venture will continue to be constrained by several competitors in each of these markets. The remaining competitors have a wide portfolio of anti-vibration systems and sufficient expertise in the R&D and production activities to constitute an important competitive constraint for the joint venture. In addition, customers generally select suppliers by means of tender-like awarding procedures and are able to exercise significant pressure on manufacturers of anti-vibration systems. This contributes to keeping the market competitive.

The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed operation would 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 2 April 2012.

Companies and products

Freudenberg develops and produces seals, anti-vibration systems, filters, nonwovens, release agents, speciality lubricants and mechatronics products. More than one-third of Freudenberg’s sales are to the automotive industry.

Trelleborg is a Swedish corporation engaged inter alia in the manufacture of anti-vibration systems for automotive and industrial applications, products and solutions for noise suppression in vehicles, wheel systems, industrial fluid systems and engineered solutions based on polymer materials.

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:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=2_M_6339

Contacts :

Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)


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