European Commission approves SSAB-Ruukki merger

The European Commission has granted regulatory competition approval for the merger of Nordic steelmakers SSAB and Rautaruukki (Ruukki), the companies said late on Monday July 14.

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Approval is conditional on divesting assets in the Nordic steel distribution system and Finnish construction business, however. SSAB will start the divestiture process immediately, it said.

The assets to be divested are one steel service centre in Sweden and one in Finland, Finnish steel and non-ferrous metals supplier Tibnor Oy, the 50% interest in each of Norwegian steel and metal distributors Norsk Stål and Norsk Stål Tynnplater, as well as the Finnish subsidiary of refined thin steel sheet producer Plannja.

“These divestments will not affect the previously communicated synergy potential nor the industrial logic behind the combination, since certain concessions were already expected,” the steelmakers said.

Swedish steel producer SSAB announced its intention to acquire Finnish steelmaker Ruukki in late January to achieve annual cost savings of SKr1.4 billion ($206 million).

The merger has previously been granted regulatory approval in Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, and the companies can now complete the SKr10.1 billion ($1.5 billion) share exchange offer.

The offer period, in which SSAB offers to buy all of the outstanding shares of Ruukki that are not owned by Ruukki or its subsidiaries, ends at 16:00 Finnish time (Eastern European Summer Time) on July 22.

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