China's BlueStar Wins EU Okay To Buy Orkla Unit

01.04.2011 -

Chinese state-run chemicals company China National BlueStar secured EU regulatory approval on Friday to buy Norwegian conglomerate Orkla's silicon division Elkem for $2 billion.

The acquisition will give BlueStar, which is backed by U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group, access to technology that could help China reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases.

The EU's competition chief Joaquin Almunia said in a statement: "Even assuming all Chinese state-owned firms in the sector acted as one, European consumers would still enjoy sufficient competition from other players serving the market."

Elkem, which produces high-grade silicon for the solar industry and computers, has production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.
Other strong players serving European consumers include FerroAtlantica of Spain, Dow Corning of the United States and Germany's Wacker, the EU competition watchdog said.