SaintGobain Will Fight FTC over US Bottling Deal

Saint-Gobain Will Fight FTC over US Bottling Deal

The FTC said sale of company’s Verallia business would reduce competition by concentrating more than 75% of the US market for glass packaging for the beer and spirits industries between the new business, and the only significant competitor Owens-Illinois.

PARIS -- French glassmaking group Saint-Gobain (IW 1000/79) is ready to challenge legally a decision by U.S. anti-trust officials to oppose the sale of its U.S. bottling business for $1.7 billion, the company said on Tuesday.

Saint-Gobain intends to sell its Verallia business to the Ardagh group, but on Monday the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it had begun action against the deal, which was announced in January.

The FTC said that the transaction would reduce competition by concentrating more than 75% of the U.S. market for glass packaging for the beer and spirits industries between the new business, and the only significant competitor Owens-Illinois.

This would raise prices for consumers, the FTC said.

Saint-Gobain said on Tuesday that both it and Ardagh "are disappointed by the action taken by the Commission.

"Saint-Gobain and Ardagh intend to vigorously defend the transaction in litigation, whilst at the same time working with the FTC to seek to resolve its concerns."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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