EC clears Holcim and Cemex Spanish deal

 EC clears Holcim and Cemex Spanish deal
Published: 10 September 2014


The European Commission (EC) has cleared, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Holcim’s Spanish operations by Cemex, the last of three transactions under scrutiny in the European tie-up between the two global majors.

Following an in-depth investigation launched in April 2014, yesterday the Commission concluded that the acquisition "would not raise competition concerns since the merged entity will continue to face sufficient competition from its rivals in all markets concerned."

The merger had previously raised concerns that it could substantially lessen competition for grey cement by removing Holcim’s assets as an actual competitor in eastern Spain. The watchdog was also concerned that the proposed transaction could facilitate existing coordination between grey cement producers in central Spain or make future coordination more likely. However, the probe showed that neither instances would be the case.

In August last year Holcim and rival Cemex announced their intention to exchange and combine assets in parts of Europe with the aim of improving synergies and boosting operating profit. The Spanish part of the deal involves combining both companies cement, ready-mix and aggregates operations. Cemex will have a 75 per cent controlling interest over the combined operational assets in the country. Holcim will remain a shareholder for at least five years, the company said.

In June, Holcim received unconditional clearance by the European Commission for its proposed acquistion of Cemex West in Germany. The proposed acquisition of Holcim Cesko in the Czech Republic by Cemex was cleared by the local competition authorities in March this year.