EU starts in-depth investigation for Outokumpu’s acquisition of Inoxum
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The European Commission has announced that it has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation regarding the proposed acquisition of Inoxum, the German steel giant ThyssenKrupp's stainless steel unit, by Finland-based stainless steel producer Outokumpu.
The Commission's statement said that "preliminary investigation indicated potential serious competition concerns in various markets for the production and distribution of stainless steel flat products, where the merged entity would have very high market shares."
The final decision of the investigation will be made on September 26, 2012 at the latest. The Commission has 90 working days to decide whether the proposed transaction would reduce effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Both parties have significant market shares for slabs, hot rolled and cold rolled stainless steel products. After the proposed merger, only three integrated producers of stainless steel flat products would remain active in the EEA.
The proposed merger has been approved by Outokumpu shareholders and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.