M&A

The following has been reported in the newspapers referred to below: 

  • On November 7, 2007, Dutch satellite navigation devices maker TomTom increased its offer for the Dutch digital mapping company Tele Atlas from €21.25 to €30 a share, valuing the company at about €2.9bn. TomTom also bought 28% of the target’s shares (FT, November 8, 2007, p. 17; WSJE, November 8, 2007, p. 6, 19) 
  • Swiss life insurance company Swiss Life has agreed to sell Italian private bank Banca del Gottardo to BSI, a subsidiary of Italian bank Generali for US$1.632bn (FT, November 8, 2007, p. 17; WSJE, November 8, 2007, p. 4) 
  • Luxembourg-based steel company ArcelorMittal announced that it has bought a 28% stake in Chinese steel mill China Oriental Group for US$647m (FT, November 8, 2007, p. 18) 
  • French luxury-goods maker LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA has announced that it is in exclusive talks to sell its French business daily ‘La Tribune’ to News Participations, the French holding company of NextRadioTV, a French news company (WSJE, November 8, 2007, p. 7) 
  • The following concentration has been cleared by the European Commission: 
    • SLP/TPG V/Avaya (communications systems and applications for enterprises) (OJ C 266, 8 November 2007, p. 1)

State Aid

  • Authorization of State aid pursuant to Article 61 of the EEA Agreement and Article 1(3) in Part I of Protocol 3 to the Surveillance and Court Agreement — EFTA Surveillance Authority decision not to raise objections (Norway – Transport) (OJ C 266, 8 November 2007, p. 6)

Other 

  • The French national council on dairy designations of origin (AFIDOP) and the association of Italian cheese designations of origin (AFIDOP) have called on the EU authorities to adapt European competition rules to allow the collective management of volumes through new market regulation instruments. The associations stated that collective production is essential for maintaining the quality and special characteristics of products with registered/protected designation of origin and for guaranteeing economic activity in difficult regions (Europolitics, November 8, 2007, p. 6) 
  • Germany’s proposal to create an investment fund aimed at protecting German companies from foreign investors faces problems because of the reluctance of banks and insurance companies to get involved (FT, November 8, 2007, p. 2) 
  • UK bank Northern Rock is understood to have contacted a number of Asian banks such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Bank of China in a effort to find a buyer (FT, November 8, 2007, p. 15)