By Patrick Raleigh ERJ On-line news editor/
Strasbourg, France- Aventis is to divest its 49-percent stake in Wacker-Chemie GmbH to meet European Commission conditions for its formation back in 1999-through the merger of RhÃ´ne-Poulenc and Hoechst.
The divestment, to take place â€œwithin a confidential timeframe of several years,â€ replaces an earlier EC requirement for Aventis to sell its 15.3-percent stake in Rhodia. This was to prevent competition issues in the markets for silicone sealant, silicone elastomer and polymer powder.
The new deal gives Aventis â€œadded flexibility to secure its own financial interestâ€ by allowing financially-stricken Rhodia to restructure its operations, according to a 2 Feb Aventis statement.
â€œThe sale of Wacker-Chemie fulfils the same purpose [as the sale of the Rhodia stake] since the competition issues resided in the overlaps between the two firms,â€ said a 30 Jan EC statement, clearing the new arrangement.
In a related move, the US Federal Trade Commission has extended its deadline for Aventis' disposal of the Rhodia stake by one year, to 22 April, 2005, said Aventis.