(Updates with Dow Chemical, DuPont comments)
BRUSSELS Oct 3 EU antitrust regulators have
resumed their investigation into the $130 billion merger of U.S.
chemicals giants Dow Chemical and DuPont after
the companies provided data they had been asked for.
The European Commission, which halted its scrutiny in early
September, will now decide by Feb. 6 whether to approve the
Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso confirmed in an email
that the companies had submitted important information requested
by the EU competition enforcer.
Dow Chemical and DuPont said they were confident of securing
"We remain focused on working with the European Commission
toward closing the transaction by year-end 2016. In the event
that the Commission utilises the full allotted time, closing
would be expected to occur in the early part of 2017, subject to
satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt
of all regulatory approvals," the companies said in a statement.
They may have to offer concessions after the Commission
opened a full investigation into the case in August, concerned
that the deal to create the world's largest integrated crop
protection and seeds company might reduce competition in these
sectors as well as certain petrochemicals.
A preliminary offer from the companies was considered
inadequate to resolve the Commission's regulatory concerns.
The agricultural chemicals industry has seen a wave of
consolidation in recent months as companies bulk up to better
compete with each other.
The Commission is examining another agrichemicals deal
involving ChemChina and Syngenta while German
pharmaceutical and crop chemicals manufacturer Bayer AG
plans to buy U.S. rival and the world's biggest seeds
company Monsanto Co.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; writing by Julia Fioretti; editing
by David Clarke)