Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of Berre Refinery by Basell

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 28 Jan 2013 09:21


The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the refinery Compagnie de Distribution des Hydrocarbures SAS (Berre Refinery) of France, currently controlled by Royal Dutch Shell plc. (Shell) of the UK/Netherlands, by Basell Polyéthylène SAS (Basell) of Luxembourg, belonging to Access Industries (Access) of the US. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Basell is active in the manufacture and sale of various chemical products, such as polyolefins, polyolefin compounds and other specialty polyolefin products, catalysts, ethylene and propylene and the development and licensing of technology.

The Berre Refinery is situated in the South of France and uses the fractional distillation process to convert crude oil into various petrochemical products, including LPG, naphtha, jet fuel, gasoline, heating oil, bitumen, fuel oil and gasoil. Basell will also buy the infrastructure associated with the refinery (including pipeline and terminals) and the contracts necessary for its operation.

Some of the petrochemical products derived from the fractional distillation at the Berre Refinery are used as feedstock in the polyolefins sector, in which Basell is active, and therefore the Commission analysed the vertical relationships between the parties

However, given the parties' limited position on all the upstream and downstream markets, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not strengthen either the parties' incentive or their ability to close off the market to competitors.

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