EU Clears Acquisition of Preussag Energie by Gaz de France

The European Commission has given the go-ahead to the acquisition by Gaz de France of the German oil and gas activities of Preussag Energie GmbH. The deal results in only small overlaps in the uptream energy market and does not significantly change GdF's position in the French downstream gas market.

On March 20, 2003, the Commission received a notification of a proposed concentration by which Gaz de France (GdF) acquires control of the German activities of Preussag Energie GmbH, a subsidiary of Germany's TUI Group, by way of purchase of shares. Preussag Energie is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with activities in nine countries worldwide. Its activities outside Germany are not part of the transaction.

The Commission's investigation showed that Preussag Energie is mainly active in the upstream markets such as exploration of crude oil and gas, oil production and sales and the production and sale of natural gas. GDF is strong in France in the downstream gas market but is a smaller competitor in upstream markets.

The operation will, therefore, result in minor overlaps in upstream markets where the combined market share of the parties will in any case remain very small. Based on this, the Commission has also come to the conclusion that the transaction will not change GdF's position on the French market.