November 14, 2018 / 2:27 PM / a month ago

DS Smith wins conditional EU approval for $2.2 billion Europac buy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British packaging group DS Smith (SMDS.L) gained EU antitrust approval on Wednesday for its 1.9-billion-euro ($2.2 billion) purchase of Spanish rival Europac (PYCE.MC) after agreeing to sell production plants in Portugal and France.

DS Smith announced its biggest-ever acquisition in June to cement its market position in France and make it the number two player in Spain. It is the latest deal in an industry which has seen growing demand from online retailers.

The European Commission said DS Smith’s offer to sell a Europac production plant in Portugal and two of its own facilities in France addressed its concerns that the deal would reduce competition in corrugated sheets and cases in Portugal and western France.

“The transaction will only result in a limited increment in market share, of around 3.5 percent,” the EU competition enforcer said in a statement. ($1 = 0.8853 euros)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee

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