EU mergers and takeovers

December 22
5:43 PM 2013

The following are mergers under review by the European Commission and a brief guide to the EU merger process.


  • Private equity firms ARX CEE III LP and Darby Converging Europe Fund III to jointly acquire Gramex 2000 Kereskedelmi Korlatolt Felelôssegü Tarsasag and G.F. Investment Korlatolt Felelossegu Tarsasag which own beverage producers and distributors (approved Dec. 19)
  • Bulgarian flag carrier Bulgaria Airways Group EAD to acquire joint control of airport ground services handler Swissport Bulgaria, which is now solely owned by airport ground services handler Swissport (approved Dec. 19)
  • Italian energy group ENI to acquire British oil and gas operator Liverpool Bay from BHP Billiton Petroleum Great Britain Ltd (approved Dec. 19)
  • German building supplies wholesaler Cordes & Graefe to acquire French construction supplier Pompac (approved Dec. 20)
  • Austevoll Seafood ASA and investment company Kvefi, which is controlled by private investment firm Kverva AS, to set up a joint venture (approved Dec. 20)
  • Danish energy company SEAS-NVE Am.b.a to acquire 80 percent of Danish windfarm operator E.ON Vind Sverige AB from German utility E.ON (approved Dec. 20)
  • Private equity firm Apollo to acquire debt recovery and real estate services company Altamira from Spanish bank Banco Santander (approved Dec. 20)
  • Venetos Holding AG, which is a subsidiary of Russian investment vehicle Renova Industries, to acquire sole control of Swiss steelmaker Schmolz+Bickenbach AG (approved Dec. 20)


  • Spanish telecoms provider Telefonica to buy Dutch peer KPN's German unit (notified Oct. 31/Commission opened in-depth probe on Dec. 20, new deadline May 14)



  • Danish agricultural cooperative DLG to acquire German energy and building materials company Team (notified Nov. 25/deadline Jan. 9/simplified)
  • U.S. advertising company Omnicom Group Inc and French peer Publicis Groupe SA to merge (notified Nov. 25/deadline Jan. 9)

JAN 13

  • Japanese technology company NTT Data Corp to acquire consultancy Everis Participaciones (notified Nov. 27/deadline Jan. 13/simplified)

JAN 14

  • South African IT services company Dimension Data, which is a subsidiary of Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp, to buy IT services units belonging to Nextiraone (notified Nov. 28/deadline Jan. 14/simplified)

JAN 15

  • Investment bank Goldman Sachs, private equity company TPG Lundy and British bank Barclays to acquire joint control of British pub operator Intertain (notified Nov. 29/deadline Jan. 15/simplified)

JAN 22

  • Swiss specialty chemicals group Clariant and Saudi Arabia's National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee) to form a joint venture (notified Dec. 6/deadline Jan. 22/simplified)

JAN 23

  • Swedish pension fund Sixth AP Fund to buy 45 percent of Finnish mobile phone accessories maker Salcomp Oyj from Swedish investment company Nordstjernan AB (notified Dec. 9/deadline Jan. 23/simplified)
  • Russia's Lukoil to buy Austrian energy group OMV's lubricants business (notified Dec. 9/deadline Jan. 23/simplified)
  • Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman to acquire online marketplace provider Scout 24 (notified Dec. 9/deadline Jan. 23/simplified)
  • Czech investment group PPF Group to buy Spanish telecoms provider Telefonica's Czech business and Telefonica Czech Republic's subsidiary Telefonica Slovakia (notified Dec. 9/deadline Jan. 23/simplified)

JAN 27

  • German insurer Allianz to acquire 50 percent of Finnish real estate fund NRF which is controlled by Luxembourg-based property fund NRF Management Co S.a.r.l (notified Dec. 11/deadline Jan. 27/simplified)

JAN 29

  • Spanish bank Santander to acquire a 50 percent stake in Spanish consumer finance company El Corte Ingles E.F.C. from Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles (notified Dec. 13/deadline Jan. 29)
  • Taiwanese contract laptop PC maker Compal Electronics to buy Toshiba Television Central Europe from Japanese industrial company Toshiba Corp (notified Dec. 13/deadline Jan. 29/simplified)

JAN 30

  • Private equity firms Investindustrial and KKR to acquire joint control of Spanish amusement park operator Resort Holdings B.V. (notified Dec. 16/deadline Jan. 30/simplified)
  • Private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital which is owned by British bank Lloyds, and Dutch mail group ptnlPostNL to acquire joint control of holding company TNT NN1 Ltd which is now solely controlled by PostNL (notified Dec. 16/deadline Jan. 30)
  • Mexican frozen food producer Sigma Alimentos to acquire Spanish meat processor Campofrio (notified Dec. 16/deadline Jan. 30/simplified)


  • Swiss cement maker Holcim  to buy some of Mexican peer Cemex's assets in Germany (notified Sept. 3/dateline extended to March 10 from Oct. 22 after the Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the deal)


  • Switzerland-based INEOS and Belgian chemicals company Solvay to form a joint venture (notified Sept. 16/deadline extended for the second time to March 21 from Nov. 5 after the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation)


  • Hutchison 3G UK to acquire Telefonica Ireland, a unit of Spanish telecoms provider Telefonica (notified Oct. 1/deadline extended to March 24 from Nov. 6 after the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation)



  • The European Commission has 25 working days after a deal is filed for a first-stage review. It may extend that by 10 working days to 35 working days, to consider either a company's proposed remedies or an EU member state's request to handle the case.
  • Most mergers win approval but occasionally the Commission opens a detailed second-stage investigation for up to 90 additional working days, which it may extend to 105 working days.


  • Under the simplified procedure, the Commission announces the clearance of uncontroversial first-stage mergers without giving any reason for its decision. Cases may be reclassified as non-simplified -- that is, ordinary first-stage reviews -- until they are approved.

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