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EU gives conditional approval to BASF acquisition of Solvay nylon business

EU gives conditional approval to BASF acquisition of Solvay nylon business
FILE PHOTO: A cyclist rides his bike past the entrance of the BASF plant and former Ciba production site in Schweizerhalle near Basel July 7, 2009. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo   -   Copyright  Christian Hartmann(Reuters)
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Friday it had approved the acquisition by German chemical company BASF <BASFn.DE> of the nylon business of Belgian rival Solvay <SOLB.BR> subject to conditions.

The EU antitrust said Solvay’s facilities in France, Poland and Spain would have to be divested to a single buyer to guarantee competition in Europe.

It also required the creation of a production joint venture in France between the merged entity and the buyer of the divested assets for the production of adipic acid.

The companies also committed to long-term supply agreements for adiponitrile (ADN), an oil derivative.

The measures are meant to avoid the reduction of suppliers in the nylon value chain that would lead to higher prices for consumers.

Nylon is used in many different types of products, including textiles, carpets and car components to make them lighter and more environmentally friendly.

“Our decision will allow for the creation of a significant European player in this market because the commitments offered by BASF and Solvay ensure that the merger will not lead to higher prices or less choice for European businesses,” the EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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