Following the announcement of the offer published in September 2019 for Freudenberg’s planned acquisition of Low & Bonar PLC, the formal application for approval under the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”) from the European Commission (“Commission”) was submitted in March 2020 following extensive preliminary discussions and in agreement with the Commission. A decision on the application was received on April 17, 2020.
The Commission has granted an unconditional Phase 1 clearance under the EUMR. Completion of the acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the remaining conditions to the offer, including the sanction of the scheme of arrangement by the Scottish Court. Given the current disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not yet possible to establish a definitive timetable for completion of the transaction. Further announcements will follow as appropriate.
Please see also TextileFuture’s News for the original acquisition announcement.
Freudenberg Performance Materials is a leading global manufacturer of innovative technical textiles offering differentiated value propositions to a broad range of markets and applications such as apparel, automotive, building materials, energy, filter media, healthcare, building Interiors, shoe and leather goods as well as specialties. In 2019, the company generates sales of around €890 million and has 26 manufacturing sites in 14 countries and more than 3.600 associates. Freudenberg Performance Materials attaches great importance to social and ecological responsibility. For more information, please visit www.freudenberg-pm.com
Freudenberg is a global technology group that strengthens its customers and society long-term through forward-looking innovations. Together with its partners, customers and research institutions, the Freudenberg Group develops leading-edge technologies and excellent products and services for more than 40 markets and for thousands of applications: seals, vibration control components, technical textiles, filters, specialty chemicals, medical products, and the most modern cleaning products.
Strength of innovation, strong customer orientation, diversity, and team spirit are the cornerstones of the Group. The 170-year-old company holds strong to its core values: a commitment to excellence, reliability and pro-active, responsible action.
In 2019, the Freudenberg Group employed approximately 49000 people in some 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of more than EUR 9.4 billion. For more information please visit: www.freudenberg.de
The European Commission communicated the following press release on April 20, 2020:
The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Low & Bonar, PLC of the UK by Freudenberg & Co. KG of Germany.
Low & Bonar is a global manufacturer and supplier of nonwovens, three-dimensional polymeric structures and technical coated textiles. Freudenberg is active in the development, manufacture and sale of a broad spectrum of products, ranging from seals and nonwovens to medical components, vibration control products, filters, specialty chemicals, household products, lubricants, coatings, and cleaning services, roofing, insulation and composite materials.
The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because in the markets where the companies’ activities overlap, particularly in nonwovens for floor coverings, the merged entity will continue to face increasing competition from other suppliers. In particular, Asian suppliers competing on a worldwide basis will continue to exert significant competitive constraints on the companies.
The Commission also found that the vertical relationship arising from the transaction between the upstream market of carpet backings for automotive applications and the downstream market of throw-in-mats where Freudenberg is active, would not raise competition issues, considering the limited presence of the companies in the downstream market and the existence of alternative suppliers in the upstream market.