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   Solvay  S.A.  and  Laporte  plc have notified  to  the  Commission  their
   intention to break-up and divide amongst themselves their joint  venture,
   the  Interox  group  of companies, which groups their  interests  in  the
   peroxygen products sector.
   Solvay  is  a major international chemical group  concentrating  on  bulk
   chemicals   with  interests  in  five  main  areas:  alkalis,   plastics,
   processing, health and peroxygens (through Interox).
   Laporte is a broadly based international chemicals group with  activities
   in  the areas of absorbents, construction chemicals, hygiene and  process
   chemicals, metals and electronics chemicals, organic speciality chemicals
   and peroxygens (through Interox).
   Under  the agreement for the break-up of Interox, Solvay will  take  over
   full  control  and  ownership of the "non-initiator  business  "  (mainly
   hydrogen peroxide and persalts) whilst Laporte will acquire full  control
   and   ownership  of  the  "initiator-business"  (organic  peroxides   and
   persulphates).  At  the  same  time Solvay  will  give  up  its  existing
   shareholding in Laporte.
   The  Commission considers that the operation gives rise to  two  separate
   concentrations, through which both parties will now have sole as  opposed
   to  joint control for two separate sets of products. The  acquisition  of
   sole  control  represents a change in the quality of  decisive  influence
   exercised  by  the  acquiring  party  and  therefore  gives  rise  to   a
   The  Laporte/initiators  concentration  does  not  satisfy  the  turnover
   thresholds  laid  down  in  Article 1  of  the  Merger  Regulation.  This
   concentration thus falls outside the scope of the Regulation.
   The Solvay/initiators concentration does satisfy the turnover  thresholds
   and therefore falls to be assessed under the Merger Regulation.
                                     - 2 -
   Although Solvay will now have sole control over Interox, and will be  the
   Community market leader for the production of both hydrogen peroxide  and
   persalts,  the  concentration  does  not  bring  about  any  increase  in
   Interox's  existing  market  shares.  Furthermore,  there  still  remains
   alternative  producers  in  the  market  such  as  Degussa,  Oxysynthese,
   Montefluos  and  FMC  for  hydrogen  peroxide  and  Degussa,  Montedison,
   Oxysynthese  and ICI for persalts, all having substantial  market  shares
   and significant financial and economic power.
   The  Commission concludes that the Solvay/initiators  concentration  does
   not  create  or  strengthen  a dominant position as  a  result  of  which
   effective competition would be significantly impeded in the common market
   or   in  a  substantial  part  of  it  and  has  therefore  cleared   the
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