October 15, 2018 / 2:15 PM / a month ago

Brazil antitrust watchdog approves Fibria-Suzano tie-up

BRASILIA, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian antitrust regulators approved a tie-up between Fibria Celulose SA and Suzano Papel e Celulose SA, paving the way for the creation of the world’s biggest pulp producer.

In a document filed late on Thursday, before a national holiday in Brazil, a technical board of the Cade antitrust authority approved the $11 billion transaction without imposing any restrictions.

Third parties may still appeal the decision, or a Cade board member could question it and send it to a full-board vote. In practice, though, that rarely happens.

That would make Cade the latest in a string of competition watchdogs to sanction the deal, pending only approval in Europe, which is expected by Nov. 15.

In a report, analysts at Banco BTG Pactual SA led by Leonardo Correa recommended clients buy Suzano shares, which have slumped in recent months.

“We continue to believe that the probability of deal terms being revised are low, remedies (if any) should be immaterial and expect Fibria’s price gap to close even further from now on,” they wrote.

Suzano shares rose 0.1 percent to 41.60 reais on Monday, while Fibria shares slipped 0.1 percent. The country’s benchmark Bovespa stock index was up 1 percent in morning trading. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by Alistair Bell)

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