The European Commission has approved the acquisition of certain Suez waste management companies in Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland by the Schwarz Group.
Bothe the companies are active across the waste management chain in several countries and in particular, they are leaders in the sorting of lightweight packaging (LWP) originating in the Netherlands.
The Commission previously had concerns the proposed acquisition would have significantly reduced the level of competition in the market for the sorting of LWP in the Netherlands.
In particular, its investigation found the merged entity would become by far the largest market player, owning more than half of the capacity for LWP sorting in the Netherlands and an unavoidable trading partner to Dutch customers.
To address the competition concerns, the Schwarz Group offered to divest the entirety of Suez’s LWP sorting business in the Netherlands, including Suez’s LWP sorting plant in Rotterdam and all assets necessary for its operation.
The approval from the Commission is conditional on the divestment of Suez’s lightweight packaging sorting business in the Netherlands.
Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: “Competitive markets at every level of the recycling chain are a crucial contribution to a more circular economy and essential to achieve the objectives of the Green Deal.
“With the divestment of Suez’ sorting plant in the Netherlands, the acquisition can go ahead while preserving effective competition in the sorting of plastic waste market in the Netherlands.”