BRUSSELS, March 4 St-Gobain (SGOB.PA), the
world's biggest building materials group, won conditional
permission from the European Commission on Tuesday to buy clay
and mortar company Maxit Group from Germany's HeidelbergCement
The companies said earlier that the transaction was based on
an enterprise value of 2.125 billion euros ($3.23 billion) for
Maxit, representing around 11 times Maxit's estimated operating
income for 2007 after cost synergies.
The Commission, the European Union's top competition
regulator, said the companies each did business in premix
mortar, used for masonry and tile fixing, and in gypsum. Gypsum
is a raw material used for cement, ceramics and plasters.
It said the deal as initially proposed would have created
serious competition problems for natural gypsum in Germany,
natural anhydrite in Austria, gypsum-based semi-finished
products in Austria, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands and
gypsum-based plasters for ceramics throughout the EU and the
three other countries that make up the European Economic Area.
"To address the Commission's concerns, Saint-Gobain offered
to divest two Maxit subsidiaries, Suedharzer Gipswerk GmbH and
Maxit Baustoffe GmbH," the Commission said in a statement.
(Reporting by David Lawsky; Editing by Dale Hudson)