The European Commission approved today the acquisition of German financial institution Hypo Real Estate AG (Hypo RE) by Germany's state-owned Financial Market Stabilisation Fund (SoFFin). The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Germany had launched a tender offer for a controlling interest in Hypo RE last month, after discussions with its largest minority shareholder, JC Flowers & Co. LLC, regarding the sale of its interest to SoFFin broke down. Germany expressed its desire to obtain a controlling interest in the bank earlier this year after several infusions of government assistance made it clear that a state-assisted restructuring would be necessary.

The European Commission also referenced in its announcement its ongoing investigation under EC Treaty State aid rules into state support measures for Hypo RE, and noted in particular that the investigation remains open.