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EU approves Total's partial acquisition of Polimeri of Belgium

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed sale of Polimeri's polystyrene business at Feluy, Belgium, to Total Petrochemicals Feluy S.A.

After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Total Petrochemicals Feluy S.A. ("TPF") is a manufacturer of commodity polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene), ultimately controlled by the French company Total. Polimeri Europa Benelux S.A. ("Polimeri") is a petrochemical company active in the production of basic and specialty chemicals and commodity polymers, ultimately controlled by the Italian company Eni.

The transaction concerns TPF's acquisition of Polimeri's polystyrene production lines and related high impact polystyrene ("HIPS") and general purpose polystyrene ("GPPS") business. Belgium. These production lines are located on TPF's site at Feluy (Belgium) and are currently operated by TPF on behalf of Polimeri. Polystyrene is used for a large number of applications including packaging, consumer goods, electrical and electronics and building/insulation.

The parties both produce polystyrene. However, the Commission's investigation showed that the transaction would lead to a relatively small overlap and the combined entity would continue to face several competitors. The transaction would give raise to a vertical link as Total also produces styrene, which is the main input for the production of polystyrene. This vertical relationship is, however, limited. The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed concentration would not raise competition concerns.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 26 May 2010.

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