Acquisition of Tessenderlo S PVC business by Ineos receives approval

The European Commission cleared on 26 July, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of the Suspension Polyvinyl Chloride ("S-PVC") business of the Belgium-based Tessenderlo Group by the Swiss-based company Ineos. The transaction involves two vertically integrated manufacturers of S-PVC, which is used in pipes, window profiles and other industrial applications. Besides S-PVC, both Ineos and the business to be acquired have a sizeable presence in the production and supply of liquid caustic soda and sodium hypochlorite. Moreover, Ineos supplies ethylene and ethylene dichloride and also vinyl chloride monomer which is also supplied by the acquired business. They are all inputs for S-PVC. Ineos is also active in the market for compounded S-PVC, which is downstream of S-PVC. As regards these horizontal overlaps, the Commission's investigation revealed that the proposed transaction would not significantly modify the structure of each of the relevant markets and that customers would still have a number of credible and sizeable supply alternatives to the merged entity. The Commission also investigated the abovementioned vertical relationships and concluded that none of them would lead to the shutting out of competitors or customers of the merged entity, because Ineos and the business to be acquired have only very limited sales of any of the upstream products and sufficient alternative suppliers exist on the downstream market for S-PVC compounds.
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