Brussels – The European Commission is concerned that if Greiner succeeds in its bid for Recticel, there could be competition problems in technical foams.
In a statement, the commission said it is concerned that the deal could lead to 'reduced choice and higher prices for technical rolls; noise vibration, and harshness reducing foams as well as filter foams for a number of European markets'.
These markets are already concentrated in Austria, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, the EC said. It has until 8 April 2022 to reach a decision.
The EC noted that Greiner had declined to offer commitments during the first stage of its investigation. It also added that the European automotive industry relies on both companies because of their reputation, broad product portfolio and qualification by automotive OEMs.
Greiner has an agreement to buy 27.8% of Recticel from the Compagnie du Bois Sauvage. This is also being examined by the EC, Greiner disclosed in a note about the transaction.
Greiner said it is 'obligated to complete the transaction' to buy the Bois Sauvage shares, but would then immediately sell them to a third party to meet any regulatory requirements. The Bois Sauvage shares will only become Greiner's if the deal reaches a conclusion. This is expected to be in the first half of 2022, Greiner said.
The Austrian company added that it is extending the deadline for private shareholders to sell it their shares at EUR13.50 to 7 January 2022. This two-week extension will take it past two key Recticel meetings.
Recticel is planning an EGM to approve the sale of its engineering foams business to Carpenter on 6 December 2021. A second shareholders meeting has been called by Recticel on 24 December to approve the sale of its bedding business to Aquinos.
Greiner has promised to issue a supplemental prospectus after the 6 December meeting.