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

  • Italian insurance company Generali has agreed to acquire a 49% stake in an investment vehicle managed by Czech private-equity group PPF Investments which owns 38.5% of Russian insurer Ingosstrakh (FT, November 15, 2007, p. 24) 
  • Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV has agreed to acquire Argentine pension fund Origenes AFJP and annuity company Origenes Seguros de Retirol for €192m (WSJE, November 15, 2007, p. 9) 
  • Spanish services and construction company Sacryr Vallehermoso SA has announced that it is open to offers for its 33% stake in French public works company Eiffage SA. Sacryr’s stake is valued at about €3bn (WSJE, November 15, 2007, p. 9) 
  • Dutch energy company Royal Dutch Shell PLC is reportedly considering the sale of its 16.7% stake in Australian oil-output arm of the North West Shelf project (WSJE, November 15, 2007, p. 10) 
  • US hedge fund investors have criticized the proposed US$1.5bn takeover of Swedish home security company Securitas Direct by a consortium of investors led by EQT, a Swedish private-equity firm, saying that the bid undervalues the company (FT, November 15, 2007, p. 21)
  • The following concentrations have been notified to the European Commission: 
    • Goldman Sachs/Sintonia SpA/Sintonia — Candidate case for simplified procedure (transport and telecommunications) (OJ C 272, 15 November 2007, p. 22) 
    • PetroFina/Galactic/Futerro JV — Candidate case for simplified procedure (counsel and management services) (OJ C 272, 15 November 2007, p. 23) 
  • The following concentrations have been cleared by the European Commission: 
    • Avnet/Magirus EID (distribution of IT products) (OJ C 272, 15 November 2007, p. 1) 
    • Hochtief/Vinci/JV (rebuilding and maintenance of a motorway section) (OJ C 272, 15 November 2007, p. 1)
    • Bridgestone/Bandag (manufacture of retreading materials and equipment for motor vehicle tyres, tyre retreading and servicing) (OJ C 272, 15 November 2007, p. 2)

State Aid 

  •  Notice from the Commission — Towards an effective implementation of Commission decisions ordering Member States to recover unlawful and incompatible State aid (OJ C 272, 15 November 2007, p. 4) 
  • The European Commission has amended the transitional measures that it had applied to Belgian “coordination centers” in 2003. Coordination centers specialize in providing services to international company groups and were able to benefit, in Belgium, from a special tax scheme aimed at attracting the headquarters of large groups to Belgium. The European Commission maintains that Belgian legislation which attempts to extend the authorization of all such centers until the end of 2010 is not compatible with EU rules on state aid. (Europolitics, November 15, 2007, p. 6)


  • Commission Decision of 4 October 2006 relating to a proceeding pursuant to Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement (Case COMP/C2/38.681 — The Cannes Extension Agreement (restrictive practices) (OJ L 296, 15 November 2007, p. 27) 
  • On November 14, 2007, the finance minister for the region of North Rhine Westphalia in Germany, stated that the sale of the state’s 38% stake in German public sector bank WestLB was not planned in the short term (FT, November 15, 2007, p. 17) 
  • German sports car-maker Porsche AG, which owns the largest stake in German car-maker Volkswagen AG, is understood to have stated that it has no intention of breaking up VW or of merging the two companies (WSJE, November 15, 2007, p. 3) 
  • The chairman and chief executive of French electricity company EDF has stated that the company plans further expansion outside the EU with ambitions to take part in the expected consolidation of US utilities and the possibility of investing in Russia’s electricity industry (FT, November 15, 2007, p. 20)