By Ben Simmons

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Belgian chemical company Taminco Group Holding S.à.r.l. by the US-based private equity fund Apollo.

The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because the parties are not active on the same markets and will continue to face competition from several other players on related markets.

The Commission's investigation confirmed that the activities of Taminco do not overlap with those of any other company currently controlled by Apollo. The Commission therefore examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the vertically affected markets for the sale of methylamines, produced by Taminco, which are used as an input by another chemical company controlled by Apollo, Momentive Performance Holdings LLC, to manufacture a catalyst used in the production of polyurethane.

The Commission's investigation found that although Taminco is an important supplier of methylamines, there are a number of other methylamine suppliers on the market. At the same time, the volumes of methylamines that are necessary to produce polyurethane catalysts are not significant in comparison to its other applications. The merged entity would therefore be unable to shut out competing methylamine suppliers.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)1 or any substantial part of it.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 11 January 2012.

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