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European Commission authorises acquisition of Vedici by the 3i investment group

The European Commission has cleared, under the EU Mergers Regulation, the proposed acquisition of the French Vedici group of healthcare facilities by the British investment group 3i.

The Commission concluded that the acquisition would not significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it.

3i is a capital investment company investing in a variety of industrial sectors such as engineering, energy and health. It controls the company Labco SAS, which owns the Labco group of bio-clinical analysis laboratories.

The Vedici group consist of 23 private health establishments in western France.

The Commission has concluded that there are no horizontal overlaps between the parties' activities. The proposed transaction will, however, create a vertical relationship between Vedici's activities in the hospital care sector and the provision of bio-medical tests by the laboratories of the Labco network. The Commission has examined the effects of the proposed transaction and found that the Labco laboratories would not have the capacity to restrict access to the provision of such tests. Furthermore, the Commission found that hospitals belonging to the Vedici group would have no incentive to limit other laboratories' access to them (for instance, by choosing to subcontract their requests for tests only to Labco laboratories or by entering into exclusive contracts with them), given, among other things, the vast number of other clients (individual patients and public hospitals) who also use laboratories to carry out medical tests.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 14 April 2010.

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