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Solvay – K+S joint venture

The European Union Commission said in the second week of January that it has given antitrust clearance to the creation of a joint venture between Belgian chemical group Solvay S.A.“s and Germany“s K…

The European Union Commission said in the second week of January that it has given antitrust clearance to the creation of a joint venture between Belgian chemical group Solvay S.A.“s and Germany“s K+S Aktiengesellschaft. The new company, European Salt Co., or ESCO, will be Europe“s second largest producer of crystallized salt, to be located in Hannover, Germany. The Commission concluded that powerful competition from established market players, such as Dutch Akzo and France“s Salins du Midi, was sufficient to “constrain“ ESCO“s behaviour, and that overcapacity in the salt sector would curb its ability to hike prices. Solvay has said K+S will hold 62% of ESCO, with Solvay holding the remaining 38%. K+S, which mainly supplies potash and magnesium products for agriculture and industry, will contribute salt production sites in Germany and the Netherlands to the venture, as well as handle marketing and distribution. Solvay will contribute its salt production works located in Belgium, Germany, France, Portugal and Spain. Its salt production for use in soda ash and electrolysis processes will remain within Solvay.

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