The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control by Arcelor Profil Luxembourg and SNCFL of CFL Cargo, by way of purchase of shares. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Arcelor Profil belongs to the Arcelor group and is specialised in long carbon steel products. SNCFL, Société Nationale de Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois, is the provider of railway transport in Luxembourg.
The newly created joint venture, CFL Cargo, would take over all railway transport of goods currently provided by EuroLuxCargo (Luxembourg), Neg Uetersen (Germany) and Dansk Jernbane Aps (Denmark), subsidiaries of SNCFL, as well as the internal transport currently realised by Arcelor Profil and Arcelor Rodange (Luxembourg). Container transport would not be handled by CFL Cargo, although CFL Cargo could offer traction services as a sub-contractor to container companies.
The proposed acquisition would create a vertical link between Arcelor and CFL Cargo which could affect the market for railway transport of goods in Luxembourg. Arcelor is by far the largest customer of railway transport of goods in Luxembourg. However, the proposed transaction would not raise concerns about the supply of railway transport services as the joint venture would continue to serve the ex-SNCFL customers. In addition, in the context of the ongoing process of railway liberalisation, competitors of SNCFL expressed during the market investigation their intention to start operating on the Luxembourg market.