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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-03-01

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

01/03/99


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission clears an acquisition of joint control by CVC over Wavin
  • [02] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Denkhaus par La Poste
  • [03] Commission authorises 'merger of equals' between Astra and Zeneca under conditions
  • [04] Commission authorises Halifax Plc and Cetelem SA to take control of Harry Dawn Ltd
  • [05] Commission to step up EU membership preparations with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia
  • [06] La production industrielle en baisse de 0,3%

  • [01] Commission clears an acquisition of joint control by CVC over Wavin

    The European Commission has approved an operation by which the CVC Capital Partners Group (CVC) acquires Shell Petrolium's 50% shareholding in the Wavin group. Wavin is an important player in the market for plastic pipe systems and fittings and Waterleiding Maatschappij Overijssel (WMO), which hold the other 50% of the shares in Wavin, is the water utility in the province of Overijssel, The Netherlands. Shell's shares in Wavin are acquired by the management of Wavin and CVC, a financial investor. After completion of the transaction, Wavin will be jointly controlled by WMO and the CVC group. Neither CVC nor any of the companies controlled by CVC are active in the same markets as Wavin and WMO. Thus, their respective market positions do not change as a result of the proposed concentration. Consequently, the operation does not create or strengthen a dominant position as a result of which effective competition would be significantly impeded in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of that area.

    [02] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Denkhaus par La Poste

    La Commission européenne a approuvé une opération de concentration par laquelle La Poste, opérateur national du courrier en France, acquiert le contrôle unique de Denkhaus, société privée allemande active dans le marché du monocolis. Par cette opération, La Poste acquiert également le contrôle de Deutscher Paket Dienst GmbH (DPD) qui est un réseau européen d'entreprises liées par des contrats de franchise qui fournit des services de livraison de monocolis "Business to Business" pour une clientèle professionnelle. Cette concentration ne crée ni ne renforce de position dominante. La Commission a donc décidé de l'approuver.

    [03] Commission authorises 'merger of equals' between Astra and Zeneca under conditions

    The Europen Commission has approved the operation by which Zeneca Group Plc active in research, production and sales of pharmaceutical products, acquires all the shares in Astra AB also active in pharmaceutical products and in medical devices, by means of a public bid. After the concentration, the name of the new company will become AstraZenca and the management will be shared equally between the parties. This decision marks the first time in the pharmaceutical sector, where divestiture commitments have been necessary to enable the Commission to clear the concentration.

    [04] Commission authorises Halifax Plc and Cetelem SA to take control of Harry Dawn Ltd

    The European Commission has authorised Halifax Plc, which main activity is retail banking within the United Kingdom, and Cetelem SA, controlled by Paribas, principally active in providing consumer loans for household equipment in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal to acquire joint control of the newly created Harry Dawn Ltd. The operation will have no impact on competition in the European Economic Area.

    [05] Commission to step up EU membership preparations with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia

    From 1 March 1999, the European Commission will be stepping up the preparations for European Union (EU) membership of the central European candidate countries with which accession negotiations have not yet been opened. This new phase in these countries' preparations for membership will involve bilateral "screening" of the laws and other measures they are putting in place in readiness for EU accession. It will help the countries concerned - Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia - increase their understanding of the rules that underpin the EU and identify more clearly which issues they need to address as they adopt and implement the acquis. This will enable these countries to accelerate their preparations for membership.

    [06] La production industrielle en baisse de 0,3%

    (! embargo 12 h !) La tendance de la production industrielle de la zone euro ainsi que celle de l'UE15 ont diminué de 0,3% pour la période d'octobre à décembre 1998 par rapport aux trois mois précédents, selon les estimations publiées par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Les taux de croissance précédents étaient de 0, 0% (chiffre révisé pour la période de septembre à fin novembre) pour la zone euro et de -0,1% pour l'UE15. Le Luxembourg, la Grèce et la Finlande ont affiché encore une certaine hausse. Cependant, d'autres pays ont affiché "plus ou moins une stagnation" - l'Espagne, la France, la Suède, les Pays-Bas, le Portugal, l'Allemagne, la Belgique et le Royaume-Uni. D'importantes baisses ont été enregistrées en Italie et au Danemark. La production aux Etats-Unis a également ralenti ; le Japon a continué d'évoluer dans une phase négative même si son cycle économique a montré des signes de redressement. La croissance annuelle pour l'année 98 par rapport à 97, corrigée des jours ouvrables était de 4,1% pour la zone euro et de 3, 6% pour l'UE15. Les taux pour 1997 étaient de 4,1% et 3,8% respectivement. La Finlande (7,6%), l'Espagne (5,4%), l'Allemagne (4,6%) et la France (4, 5%) ont enregistré une forte croissance. Suivent la Belgique (3,3%), le Danemark et les Pays-Bas avec respectivement 1,2%. La production industrielle au Royaume-Uni (0,9%) et en Italie (0,8%) a également augmenté.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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