The slow speed of the companies involved in providing information, has necessitated The European Commission to suspend its inquiry into a bid by British chemical group Ineos for Norwegian oil and aluminium giant Norsk Hydro's petrochemical activities. The 5.5 bln kroner (1 bln dollar) deal was announced in May and had been expected to be completed by Q3 of this year.
The in-depth probe, that was estimated to take three months to complete, was started by the EU last month. The inquiry would not be resumed until the companies provided the supplementary information the Commission had requested, with the new target date being set by the EU for its decision as January 11, 2008.
The purchase target is Kerling, Norsk Hydro's petrochemical division, which specialises in polymers used in PVC plastics, polyvinyl chloride and caustic soda. The group has production in Norway, Sweden and Britain and its sales reached 6.87 billion kroner in 2006. Ineos is the third-biggest chemicals company in the world. The Commission has expressed "serious doubts" over Ineos' hold on the British polyvinyl chloride market if the deal goes ahead.