European Commission Clears Take Over of HDW

Friday, May 31, 2002
The European Commission has authorized the proposed acquisition of the German submarine producer Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) by the American banking company, Bank One Corporation. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the operation will not create anti-competitive effects, as the transaction will not result in any overlaps between the parties' activities in the European Union. The Commission's careful investigation has also failed to establish any links between Bank One and any US defense group with respect to the acquisition of HDW nor were there any indications that other companies were involved in the financing of the acquisition. Under an agreement notified to the Commission on April 25 for regulatory clearance under the European Union's Merger Regulation, Bank One will, through its wholly-owned subsidiary HDW Holding, acquire 75% minus one share in HDW. The remaining shares will be held by Babcock Borsig. As usual, the Commission carefully examined the companies' activities in the EU and concluded to the absence of overlaps, given that neither Bank One nor its subsidiaries are present in any of HDW's sector activities in the Union. In the course of the review, the Commission also carefully examined whether Bank One was linked to any US defense group or whether the acquisition was being financed by companies other Bank One, but it could not establish any such links.

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