Mergers: EU Commission clears acquisition of Low & Bonar by Freudenberg

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Low & Bonar, PLC of the UK by Freudenberg & Co. KG of Germany. Low & Bonar is a global manufacturer and supplier of nonwovens, three-dimensional polymeric structures and technical coated textiles.

Freudenberg is active in the development, manufacture and sale of a broad spectrum of products, ranging from seals and nonwovens to medical components, vibration control products, filters, specialty chemicals, household products, lubricants, coatings, and cleaning services, roofing, insulation and composite materials.

The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because in the markets where the companies’ activities overlap, particularly in nonwovens for floor coverings, the merged entity will continue to face increasing competition from other suppliers.

In particular, Asian suppliers competing on a worldwide basis will continue to exert significant competitive constraints on the companies.

The Commission also found that the vertical relationship arising from the transaction between the upstream market of carpet backings for automotive applications and the downstream market of throw-in-mats where Freudenberg is active, would not raise competition issues, considering the limited presence of the companies in the downstream market and the existence of alternative suppliers in the upstream market.

Arianna Podesta –

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