The European Commission has cleared, under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed joint-venture between Münchmeyer Petersen & Co (MPC) of Germany, Grupo Villacero (Viga-Villacero) of Mexico and MAN AG of Germany. The proposed concentration would result in MPC, Viga-Villacero and MAN combining their worldwide activities in non-stockholding steel distribution. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it.

MPC is a trading house active in a large range of investments. Grupo Villacero manufactures and distributes steel products in North America. MAN is a globally-active commercial vehicle and engineering group.

The three companies plan to combine their international steel trading activities in a newly-created joint-venture, Coutinho & Ferrostaal.

The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that the horizontal impact of the merger would be very limited, as the joint-venture is not a major player in the markets for international steel trading and would face competition from large international traders. Vertical effects are not significant either, since Viga-Villacero, the only parent company active in steel production, focuses its activities in North America. [21 December 2007]