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Libbey-Anchor Hocking deal: Judge refuses to lift ban

A federal judge has refused to lift an injunction barring Libbey Inc.“s proposed acquisition of Newell Rubbermaid Inc.“s specialty glassware unit because of potential anti-competitive harms, the US …

A federal judge has refused to lift an injunction barring Libbey Inc.“s proposed acquisition of Newell Rubbermaid Inc.“s specialty glassware unit because of potential anti-competitive harms, the US Federal Trade Commission said on 21 May. Libbey tried to restructure its purchase of Newell Rubbermaid“s Anchor Hocking unit, valued at about US$ 277.5 million, including eliminating the firm“s food service business from the deal but failed to ease competition concerns. In another attempt to win approval, Newell Rubbermaid in late April agreed to adjust a supply agreement and keep employees essential for Anchor Hocking“s success, said the order by the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Subsequently, the companies asked the court to lift its temporary injunction barring the deal and pledged to retain any assets pending any proceeding to preserve the government“s ability to solve antitrust issues. “The court concludes that the changes made by defendants do not amount to a change in circumstances that are sufficient to obviate the need for the preliminary injunction,” US District Judge Reggie Walton said in the order. Officials for Libbey and Newell Rubbermaid were not immediately available for comment. Newell Rubbermaid“s CEO Joseph Galli said earlier in May that a final decision would be made soon on the deal and that if the company could not complete the sale, it would continue operating the unit.

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