European Commission gives Sika conditional approval for MBCC deal

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Swiss chemical group Sika is seen in Zurich

PARIS (Reuters) - The European Commission has given conditional approval for the proposed acquisition of Germany-based MBCC by Swiss chemicals company Sika, the EU executive body said on Wednesday.

The approval is conditional on the divestiture of MBCC's global chemical admixture business, the Commission said, adding that investigation showed the deal, as initially notified, would have reduced competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) markets for chemical admixtures and concrete admixtures.

It also said that to address the Commission's concerns, Sika had offered to divest MBCC's chemical admixture business in the EEA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, the UK and United States, including global research and development facilities.

"The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns," it said.

Sika said in November 2021 it had agreed to buy MBCC Group for 5.5 billion Swiss francs ($6 billion) to boost its position in sustainable building, making its biggest-ever acquisition in the fragmented $70 billion construction chemicals sector.

In December 2022, the UK's competition watchdog cleared the proposed Sika-MBCC merger after the companies agreed to sell part of the business to address competition concerns.

The Swiss construction chemicals company agreed to buy MBCC from an affiliate of private equity firm Lone Star Funds in November 2021 to boost its position in sustainable building.

(Reporting by GV De Clercq; Editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman)