POST Online Media Lite Edition


Europe conditionally clears both FMC's acquisitions

Staff Writer |
The European Commission has conditionally approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, FMC's proposed acquisition of parts of DuPont's crop protection business and DuPont's acquisition of FMC's Health and Nutrition business.

Article continues below

Both transactions are related to the Dow/DuPont merger divestment commitments.

This decisions follow the Commission's clearance, subject to conditions, of the Dow/DuPont merger in March 2017.

DuPont committed to divest major parts of its global crop protection business, including its global research and development organisation, which FMC now acquires.

As part of the deal to acquire these parts of DuPont's crop protection business, FMC is selling its Health and Nutrition business to DuPont.

Clearance of this transaction is conditional on the divestment of FMC's sulfonylurea and florasulam businesses in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Sulfonylureas and florasulam are herbicides used to control broadleaf weeds in cereal crops.

The Commission had concerns that the transaction, as originally notified, would have allowed FMC to unilaterally raise prices in a number of national markets in the EEA by eliminating a close competitor (DuPont).

This would have been the case for products to control broadleaf weeds once crop seedlings have emerged (post-emergence control) in cereals. The commitments offered by FMC address these concerns.

FMC offered to divest its sulfonylurea and florasulam businesses in the EEA through exclusive licences to thifensulfuron-ethyl, tribenuron-ethyl, metsulfuron-ethyl and florasulam – including mixtures with other active ingredients – and the necessary personnel to run these businesses.

Clearance of this transaction is conditional upon the divestment of DuPont's global alginates business.

Alginates are used as stabilising, thickening or gelling agents in food and pharmaceutical products.

The Commission had concerns that the transaction, as originally notified, would have strengthened FMC's dominant position on alginates for use as pharmaceutical excipients and would have significantly reduced competition for food applications by eliminating an important competitor (FMC) in the EEA market.

The commitments offered by DuPont address these concerns.

DuPont offered to divest its global alginates business, including all tangible and intangible assets for the sourcing, development, manufacturing, packaging or sale of alginates.

This includes DuPont's manufacturing plant located in Landerneau (France), a licence to use DuPont's GRINSTED® Alginate brand for a certain period of time, as well as DuPont's pectin-alginates mixtures.

In view of the remedies proposed in each of these transactions, the Commission concluded that, as modified, the proposed transactions would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA.

Both decisions are conditional upon full compliance with the respective commitments.

What to read next

Global Energy Development to buy 11 subsea service vessels
Asahi ready to spend billions of dollars on acquisitions
Conviviality to buy Bibendum PLB for £60 million