EC clears Evonik carbon black acquisition
The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of German chemical company Evonik’s carbon black business under the EU Merger Regulation. This approval under the EU Merger Regulation means that the business’ purchase by US based firm Rhône Capital and Jersey’s Triton is not considered one that will significantly alter the structure of the carbon black market or significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA); the Commission reached this decision as neither firm has any existing ownership interests in any business that manufactures or sells carbon black.
As one of the investment funds run by Triton controls Rütgers, a supplier of carbon black oil (which is the chemical intermediary product used to produce carbon black), the Commission also investigated the vertical relationship arising from the proposed transaction. The investigation confirmed that the transaction “will neither result in the shutting out of competing carbon black producers as there are many alternative suppliers of carbon black oil on the market, nor in the shutting out of other suppliers of carbon black oil as there are sufficient alternative outlets for their carbon black oil production.”
Evonik announced its intention to dispose of the carbon black business in September 2010, stating its wish to focus on other business areas. The European Commission was notified of the Rhône Capital/Triton transaction on June 14.