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EU sets ten-day deadline for comment on big stainless merger - 23 April 2012

The European Commission is seeking comments by the end of this month on the proposed acquisition by Finnish stainless steel producer Outokumpu of Germany-based Inoxum, the stainless steel arm of ThyssenKrupp, the EC said on Friday.

Interested third parties have ten days from 20 April's publication of the notice in the EU Official Journal to submit their observations on the proposed deal. The EC’s competition authority has already set a tentative deadline of 21 May for making a decision on whether to approve the planned merger, as Platts Steel Business Briefing has reported.

The EC defined the business activities of the two groups as: for Outokumpu, the production, sale and distribution of stainless steel products and the production of ferrochrome; and for Inoxum, the production, sale and distribution of stainless steel flat products, high-performance alloys and forging.

In January, the companies announced that ThyssenKrupp had reached an employee-backed agreement in principle to sell the unprofitable stainless steel unit Inoxum to Outokumpu in a transaction worth €2.7bn ($3.6bn at the then-prevailing exchange rate). Outokumpu shareholders approved the deal at the beginning of March. The German steel and engineering group will take a stake of just under 30% in Outokumpu as part of the combination.

 

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