Hogan Lovells Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation Alert, China - June 2011

MOFCOM Issues Conditional Clearance of Russian Potash Merger and Circulates Two Draft Regulations for Public Comment

On June 2, 2011, the Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM"), China's merger control authority, approved the proposed merger between two Russian potash producers, Uralkali and Silvinit, subject to conditions. The decision is MOFCOM's first conditional clearance in 2011 and only the seventh since the Anti-Monopoly Law ("AML") came into force on August 1, 2008.

Background

Announced in December 2010, the Uralkali/Silvinit transaction is to be implemented in two stages (Uralkali first acquires 20% of Silvinit's shares, followed by a full-blown merger), with Uralkali being the surviving post-transaction entity.

Uralkali and Silvinit are both producers of potash, which mainly serves as a fertilizer for agricultural use but is also used, to a much lesser extent, in industrial and other "special" applications. More specifically, the MOFCOM decision defined potassium chloride – the most common potash-based product – as the relevant product market.

For Novartis/Alcon, please click HERE

For the draft regulation on the substantive assessment process, please click HERE

For the second draft regulation, please click HERE


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