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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of chemical company Solutia by Eastman

Brussels, 25 May 2012 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Solutia Inc. by Eastman Chemical Company, both US-based chemical companies. The Commission's investigation concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because the parties are not active on the same markets and will continue to face sufficient competition.

The Commission's investigation examined the competitive effects arising from the vertical relationship between Eastman's upstream supply of 2-ethylhexanoic Acid ("2-EHA") and Solutia's downstream supply of plasticizers for use in polyvinyl butyral ("PVB") sheet.

The Commission found that post transaction, the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of strong competitors upstream; that 2-EHA producers would continue to have a range of alternative customers inside and outside the European Economic Area (EEA)1; and that the merger would not result in any substantial change in the markets concerned since Solutia is not currently a customer of Eastman in the EEA.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 16 April 2012.

Companies and products

Eastman is active in the manufacture and supply of chemicals, plastics and fibres world-wide.

Solutia manufactures performance materials and specialty chemicals used in consumer and industrial applications.

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_6542

Contacts :

Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)

1 :

The EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


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