M&A

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

  • On November 15, 2007, UK brewer Scottish & Newcastle rejected a €10.2bn offer from Danish and Dutch competitors Carlsberg and Heineken saying that the offer did not reflect the profitability of its Russian joint venture BBH (FT, November 16, 2007, p. 1; WSJE, November 16, 2007, p. 5, 15) 
  • Hungarian pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter has unveiled plans to acquire two rivals, Polish Polpharma and Russian OAO Akrihin for US$1.46bn creating the largest pharmaceutical company by market capitalisation in Central and Eastern Europe (FT, November 16, 2007, p. 21, WSJE, November 16, 2007, p. 5) 
  • UK-based lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has agreed to be acquired by UK private-equity firm 3i Group PLC in a deal valued at US$123.2m (WSJE, November 16, 2007, p. 6) 
  • UK mining group Rio Tinto is understood to be considering launching a counter-bid for Australian rival BHP Billiton which has made an unsolicited US$131.57bn takeover bid for the British group (WSJE, November 16, 2007, p. 2) 
  • A consortium led by Spanish private-equity vehicle Gala Capital is preparing a bid for Spanish airline Iberia which is already being courted by a group led by UK competitor British Airways and US private-equity firm TPG Capital (FT, November 16, 2007, p. 1, 21; WSJE, November 16, 2007, p. 4) 
  • The following concentration has been notified to the European Commission: 
    • Entremont Alliance/Sodiaal Industrie/Cofranlait — Candidate case for simplified procedure (milk powder for baby foods, adult nutrition, improved intermediate food products, powdered milk) (OJ C 275, 16 November 2007, p. 27) 
  • The following concentrations have been cleared by the European Commission: 
    • SCA/P&G (European tissue business) (toilet paper, household towels and hanky/facials) (OJ C 275, 16 November 2007, p. 1) 
    • Aviva/Hamilton (general and life insurance) (OJ C 275, 16 November 2007, p. 1)

State Aid

  • Authorization for State aid pursuant to Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty — Cases where the Commission raises no objections (OJ C 275, 16 November 2007, p. 2) 
    • Spain – Organizations with collective interests such as producer associations, cooperatives and organizations for fisheries and aquaculture 
    • Poland – Manufacturing industry 
    • France - Electrical and optical equipment, Electricity, gas and water supply, Construction 
    • Germany – Manufacturing industry 
  • France — State aid C 44/07 (ex N 460/07) — Restructuring aid for FagorBrandt (household appliances) — Invitation to submit comments pursuant to Article 88(2) of the EC Treaty (OJ C 275, 16 November 2007, p. 18)

Other 

  • European carmakers have voiced their strong opposition to EU plans to liberalize the spare parts market. The proposals would end design protection for spare parts, allowing independent manufacturers to compete with carmakers. EU carmakers estimate that the proposals, which go before the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee in the week of November 20, 2007, could cost them up to €2bn a year (European Voice, November 15 – 21, 2007, p. 31)