Brussels, 12 July 2012
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of controlling stake in Japanese electronic components producer NEC Tokin by capacitor producer Kemet of the US
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the Japanese electronic devices and components producer NEC Tokin by IT products and services provider NEC Corporation of Japan and capacitor producer Kemet of the US. NEC Tokin is currently solely owned by NEC Corporation. Capacitors are electromechanical components used to store and regulate electrical energy and current flow, for instance in laptop computers, mobile phones or flat screen television sets. The Commission found that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the limited increase in market share resulting from the acquisition and the presence of sufficient competitors on the markets concerned.
The Commission's investigation confirmed that the limited overlap between the parties' activities in the markets for the supply of tantalum and solid aluminium capacitors in the European Economic Area (EEA) would not significantly alter the market structure and that there would be sufficient competitors on the markets concerned.
The Commission also assessed the vertical relationships arising from the transaction as Kemet is active in the supply of tantalum powder, which is used in the production of tantalum capacitors.
The Commission's investigation revealed that the transaction would not risk shutting out rivals from the affected markets, primarily because of the modest combined market shares of the parties and the presence of a number of alternative suppliers.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 07.06.2012.
Companies and products
KEMET predominately manufactures capacitors, which it sells on a worldwide-basis to a wide range of industries, mainly in the industrial, lighting and transportation sectors. NEC provides a broad range of IT products and services to business enterprises, communication services providers and governments. NEC TOKIN sells electronic devices and components (including capacitors) on a worldwide-basis to a wide range of industries, including the consumer electronics sector, for use in laptop computers, mobile phones, smartphones and flat screen televisions.
Capacitors are one of main categories of passive and electromechanical components. They serve to store, filter and regulate electrical energy and current flow. Capacitors can be made from various dielectrics, including tantalum, ceramic, glass, film, aluminium, niobium oxide, plastic, paper, barium titanate and other conductive 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 notified 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).
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