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

  • Germany’s state-owned bank KfW has appointed US investment bank Merrill Lynch to look “closely at the option of selling” its 37.8% stake in German-based bank IKB (FT, October 12, 2007, p. 1) 
  • German car-makers Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG have stated that they will take a minority stake in German biofuel company Choren Industries GmbH (WSJE, October 12, 2007, p. 6) 
  • On October 11, 2007, UK-based private-equity firm Permira agreed to buy a 20% stake for €590m in Chinese publicity traded company Galaxy Entertainment, a company which holds one of six casino licenses in Macau (FT, October 12, 2007, p. 1; WSJE, October 12, 2007, p. 17) 
  • On October 11, 2007, UK private-equity group 3i stated that it had taken advantage of a rare financing technique to complete the €730m acquisition of Italian maker of lawnmowers Global Garden Products (FT, October 12, 2007, p. 23; WSJE, October 12, 2007, p. 4)
  • On October 11, 2007, Dutch-based supermarket group Ahold stated that it had reached an agreement on the sale of its Tops Markets chain to US-based financial company Morgan Stanley Private Equity in a deal valued at US$310m (FT, October 12, 2007, p. 23; WSJE, October 12, 2007, p. 7) 
  • On October 11, 2007, UK-based ceramics, electronics and precious-metals company Cookson PLC declared that it agreed to buy Foseco PLC, a UK-based supplier of products to the foundry and steel industries, in a deal valued at US$1.01bn (WSJE, October 12, 2007, p. 7) 
  • Italian-car maker Fiat SpA’s Magneti Marelli unit has formed a joint venture in India with Japanese car-maker Suzuki Motor Corp. and its majority-owned Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. unit to make parts for diesel engines. Maruti would own 19% of the joint venture and Magneti Marelli 51% (WSJE, October 12, 2007, p. 7) 
  • The following concentrations have been cleared by the European Commission: 
    • KESA/EMH (retailing of electrical consumer goods (domestic appliances, air-conditioning machines, visual and audio products, telecommunications and media products) (OJ C 240, 12 October 2007, p. 4) 
    • Schering-Plough/Organon BioSciences (human and animal healthcare products); subject to conditions (RAPID, October 12, 2007, FT, October 12, 2007, p. 18) 
    • The European Commission has opened a second-stage investigation of the following concentration: 
    • Thomson Corporation/Reuters Group (information, trading capabilities, related software and news to professionals in financial services, media and corporate markets (OJ C 240, 12 October 2007, p. 3)

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 240, 12 October 2007, p. 1)
    • Portugal – All sectors 
    • Slovakia – Electricity, gas and water supply


  • On October 11, 2007, the European Commission warned that dominant European gas and electricity distributors should free customers from long-term contracts or face legal action (FT, October 12, 2007, p. 10)