Aurubis-Metallo merger given go-ahead by EU Commission

Aurubis logo on building
According to the European Commission, there is a large
number of alternative copper scrap buyers
05.05.2020 − 

The suspense surrounding the Aurubis-Metallo takeover deal is over. On Monday, the EU Commission gave its approval for the acquisition of the Belgian-Spanish Metallo group by the primary and secondary copper producer Aurubis. The application for competition clearance was submitted around a year ago. Following the in-depth investigation of the proposed purchase, the Commission's Directorate-General for Competition headed by EU Vice President Margarethe Vestager concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it. Clearance for the acquisition was not made subject to further conditions.

Aurubis, which is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, is both the largest integrated copper producer in Europe as well as the world's largest refiner of copper scrap. Metallo Holdings, which is majority-owned by the investment company Towerbrook Capital Partners, also has substantial specialised copper scrap refining capacities with production facilities in Beerse, Belgium, and in the Basque city of Berango, Spain. Accordingly, both companies are important buyers of copper scrap both from industrial production and end-of-life products within the European Economic Area, the Commission explained. For this reason, there had been initial concerns (EUWID 24/2019) that the increased buyer power of the merged company would give it a dominant position in scrap purchasing. This could impair the functioning of the copper recycling market, specifically harming industrial suppliers of copper scrap which sell scrap as a by-product of their production process.

However the Commission's in-depth examination revealed that the transaction was unlikely to result in significant harm to suppliers of copper scrap for smelting and refining. The Commission had even less concern with regard to the market for the standardised copper scrap grade no. 2, for which it believes there are a large number of alternative outlets available to suppliers.

Full coverage of the transaction will appear in the print and e-paper edition of EUWID Recycling & Waste Management 10/2020 out on 13 May.

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