European Commission denies Schneider merger

Brussels, Belgium - The European Commission announced Oct. 10 its final decision prohibiting Schneider Electric's acquisition of Legrand.


Brussels, Belgium - The European Commission announced Oct. 10 its final decision prohibiting Schneider Electric's acquisition of Legrand. The decision was in line with a recent recommendation from the commission's Competition Department.

Schneider Electric and Legrand have been informed of the decision. They have contested its validity.

In a company statement, Schneider notes that it believes the proposed merger 'offers undeniable strategic and industrial benefits for both companies - for their shareholders, their customers and their employees.'

The two companies emphasize that they complied with different steps in the Competition Commission procedure. After receiving the statement of objections on Aug. 3, 2001, they state that they submitted the information requested and responded to the objections raised by the competition authorities.

Schneider already has decided appeal the decision to the Court of First Instance of the European Communities in Luxembourg to ensure that all its rights are recognized. At the same time, the company has also accepted a proposal by the European Commission to 'examine with the commission the practical arrangements for restoring effective competition.'

Although Schneider Electric holds 98% of Legrand's shares following a public offering - and the merger has been prepared - the firm says no measures have been taken to initiate it. Schneider adds it will scrupulously comply with this commitment in the weeks ahead.

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