BRUSSELS, April 8 The following are mergers under review by the European Commission and a brief guide to the EU merger process:
APPROVALS AND WITHDRAWALS
-- German media company Bertelsmann and Britain's Pearson to merge their publishers Random House and Penguin (approved April 5)
EXTENSIONS AND OTHER CHANGES
FIRST-STAGE REVIEWS BY DEADLINE
-- Dutch dairy company FrieslandCampina to buy Dutch cheese wholesalers Zijerveld & Veldhuyzen B.V. and Den Hollander B.V. (notified Feb. 19/deadline extended to April 12 from March 26 after FrieslandCampina offered concessions)
-- French energy network manager ERDF, which is a unit of French power company EDF, French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDS), and electricity company UEM to set up a software joint venture (March 5/April 12/simplified)
-- Polish lender Alior Bank and Austria's Erste Group Bank to acquire joint control of Polish personal care products retailer Polbita (notified March 8/deadline April 14/simplified)
-- U.S. cable group Liberty Global to acquire British peer Virgin Media (notified March 6/deadline April 15)
-- U.S. conglomerate General Electric and German reinsurer Munich Re to acquire joint control of Spanish energy company Iberdrola's wind power operator Iberdrola Renovables France (notified March 7/deadline April 16/simplified)
-- U.S. oilfield equipment maker Cameron International Corp and U.S. oilfield services company Schlumberger to combine their subsea businesses (notified March 8/deadline April 17)
-- German engineering company Siemens to buy British technology company Invensys' rail business (notified March 12/deadline April 19)
-- Japanese trading house Mitsui Group to acquire stake in Spanish autoparts maker Gestamp Automocion joint control of Gestamp Automocio's U.S. businesses (notified March 13/deadline April 22/simplified)
-- Investment bank Goldman Sachs and private equity firm TPG Lundy to buy British real estate developer Tulloch Homes Group from British lender Lloyds Bank (notified Feb. 13/deadline April 22)
-- U.S. ceramic tile maker Mohawk Industries to acquire panel board maker Spano Invest, which is majority-owned by Belgian holding company Ackermans & Van Haaren (notified March 14/deadline April 23)
-- Greek carrier Aegean Airlines to buy Olympic Air (notified Feb. 28/deadline extended to April 23 from April 9 after Aegean offered commitments)
-- Private equity firms Bridgepoint Advisers Group Ltd and Orlando Italy Management S.A. to acquire Italian perfume distributor Bergamotto (notified March 18/deadline April 25/simplified)
-- Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro and Norwegian peer Orkla to merge their extruded aluminium units via a joint venture (notified March 18/deadline April 25)
-- German optical technology company Carl Zeiss to acquire sole control of eyewear maker Carl Zeiss Vision Holding GmbH (notified March 19/deadline April 26/simplified)
-- German rail operator Deutsche Bahn to acquire sole control of eastern European bus services company Veolia Transport Central Europe which is a majority-owned unit of French transport company Veolia Transport Transdev Group (notified March 21/deadline April 30)
-- Dutch insurer Aegon to acquire Spanish bank Santander's insurance subsidiaries Santander Vida and Santander Generales (notified March 27/deadline May 7)
-- RAG trust and buyout firm CVC Capital Partners to sell part of their shares in German chemicals company Evonik Industries (notified April 2/deadline May 8/simplified)
-- Distributor Export Trading Company Holdings (ETC), SCPE, which is the private equity arm of British bank Standard Chartered, investment funds Pemgrofund and Carlyle Commodities to acquire joint control of ETC Group (notified April 2/deadline May 8/simplified)
-- Food processor McCain Foods Group to buy potato products supplier Lutosa Business (notified April 3/deadline May 13)
-- U.S. communications company Syniverse Technologies to buy Luxembourg-based communications services company Mach (notified Nov. 16/deadline extended for the second time to May 30 from May 15 after the companies asked for more time)
-- Finnish paper producer Ahlstrom to merge with a unit of Swedish company Munksjo, which is partly owned by private equity fund EQT (notified Oct. 31/deadline extended for the second time to June 7 from May 16 after Ahlstrom offered concessions)
-- Swedish refiner Nynas to purchase certain assets from Royal Dutch Shell's Harburg refinery (notified Feb. 19/deadline extended to Aug. 8 from March 26 after the Commission opened an in-depth investigation)
GUIDE TO EU MERGER PROCESS
The European Commission has 25 working days after a deal is filed for a first-stage review. It may extend that by 10 working days to 35 working days, to consider either a company's proposed remedies or an EU member state's request to handle the case.
Most mergers win approval but occasionally the Commission opens a detailed second-stage investigation for up to 90 additional working days, which it may extend to 105 working days.
Under the simplified procedure, the Commission announces the clearance of uncontroversial first-stage mergers without giving any reason for its decision. Cases may be reclassified as non-simplified -- that is, ordinary first-stage reviews -- until they are approved.
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