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EU Commission clears Eastman buyout of Solutia
29
May '12
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 and Solutia's downstream supply of plasticizers for use in polyvinyl butyral 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; 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 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 or to start an in-depth investigation.

European Commission

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