European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of controlling stake in German glass producer Interpane by Japanese glass producer Asahi Glass
Brussels, 29 May 2012 - The European Commission has cleared under the Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of a controlling stake in Interpane International Glas GmbH (Germany) and Interpane Glass Holding AG (Switzerland) (together, "Interpane") by AGC Glass Europe SA (Belgium), controlled by Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (Japan). Interpane's current owner, the Hesselbach family, will hold the remainder (also a controlling stake) through its holding company Helgejos Glass Holding AG. Both Interpane and Asahi are active in the production and processing of flat glass. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because the merged entity would continue to face sufficient competition.
The Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in a number of glass markets, namely raw float glass, coated glass, laminated glass, sealed units, toughened glass, silvered glass, fire resistant glass, rolled and wired glass, and solar glass.
The Commission's investigation showed that the proposed transaction would not significantly alter the market structure and that post transaction the merged entity would face competitive pressure from a number of credible competitors.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 17 April 2012.
Companies and products
AGC Glass Europe SA is a Brussels-based company active in the production and processing of flat glass for the building, automotive, solar and specialist industries. It forms part of the Asahi group, a Japanese conglomerate which is active in glass, electronics and display products, chemicals and other products, such as ceramics.
Interpane International Glas GmbH, based in Lauenförde, Germany, is active in the manufacture and processing of architectural glass and has production and processing sites in Germany, Austria and France. Post-transaction Interpane Glass Holding AG (Switzerland) will hold the solar glass activities of the Interpane group while Interpane International Glas GmbH will hold the remaining business.
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:
Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)