The Commission has time until 29 April next year to take a final decision on whether the combination of Ahlstrom Label & Processing and Munksjö into a NewCo will have effects on competition in the European Economic Area.
The European Commission (EC) has opened an in-depth investigation under EU Merger Regulation into the planned combination between Munksjö AB and Ahlstroms’s European Label and Processing business. The investigation by the EC will focus on the abrasive backings and pre-impregnated decor paper markets, in which Munskjö and Ahlstrom are said to be among the leading suppliers in Europe and worldwide.
According to the EC, a preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns in the abrasive backings and pre-impregnated decor paper markets, where NewCo would have high market shares. The Commission said it was concerned that “the remaining competitors in both markets may not be able to exert sufficiently strong constraints on the behaviour of the merged entity” and that “the removal of an important competitor may lead to a reduction of choice for customers and potentially an increase in prices for the products concerned.”
Ahlstrom said both companies would work closely with the EC so that it could complete its review as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, it was possible that the completion of the first phase of the planned transaction would not take place until the second quarter of 2013, the company stated.
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