The European Commission has approved Evonik’s acquisition of the silica business of J.M. Huber (Edison, New Jersey) subject to divestment of some of both companies’ activities related to precipitated silica. Evonik announced plans to acquire the business for $630 million in December 2016.
To secure approval, Evonik has agreed to divest its precipitated silica business for dental applications in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Huber will divest its precipitated silica business for defoamer applications in the European Economic Area (EEA); and will sell its hydrophobic precipitated silica business in the EEA.
The commission’s investigation found that the transaction raised competition concerns in certain markets, notably precipitated silica for toothpaste and for defoamer applications; and hydrophobic precipitated silica, which is used in products including defoamers, paints, coatings, and food and feed additives. The merged entity would have a relatively high combined share of these markets. In addition, there is a limited number of alternative suppliers in each of these market, the commission says. The commission concluded that the proposed merger, as modified by the planned divestitures, would no longer raise competition concerns.
Evonik has previously said it expects to close the deal in the second half of 2017.
By Michael Ravenscroft
Source: Chemical Week
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