The European Commission has granted conditional approval for the proposed 11 billion-euro acquisition of DuPont Co.'s engineering polymer unit, mobility and materials business — by Celanese.
The deal, announced in February, will see Celanese acquiring a broad portfolio of engineered thermoplastics and elastomers, brands and intellectual property as well as global production assets from the Delaware-based chemicals group.
In an announcement on Oct. 12, the commission said the approval was conditional on Celanese complying with its remedy commitments offered earlier this month.
The commitments, it said, include the divestment of the Irving, Texas-based group’s thermoplastic copolyester (TPC) business, possibly to Italian firm Taro Plast.
“Celanese and Dupont's mobility and materials business compete head-to-head in the supply of thermoplastic copolyester, an essential input for the automobile sector,” said the EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager.
“With their transaction, they would have a combined leading position in the market with only a few alternative suppliers,” she added.
To address the Commission's competition concerns, Celanese offered to divest its global TPC business, including its production facility in Ferrara, Italy; and the Pibiflex and Riteflex TPC's brands.
Pibiflex is described as a block copolymer formed with hard, rigid PBT & soft amorphous polyether segments yielding a thermoplastic polyester with high elastomeric properties.
Riteflex TPE-ET block copolymers "exhibit the characteristics of vulcanized rubber with the processability of thermoplastics."
As part of the commitments, Celanese will divest “a stand-alone business, which fully removes the overlap between the parties' activities.”
According to the Commission, Celanese has proposed to divest the business to Taro Plast Spa, an Italian producer of engineering plastics.
Following the market test, the Commission concluded that the transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns.