A hair care remedy package from Procter & Gamble has paved the way for anti-trust clearance from the European Commission, allowing it to go ahead with the acquisition of German group Wella.
Both P&G and Wella are active in the markets for hair care products, fragrances and colour cosmetics. Although the proposed transaction did not raise competition concerns in fragrances and colour cosmetics, the Commission had expressed concerns in markets for retail hair care products in Ireland, Norway and Sweden.
In response, P&G came up with a package of undertakings aimed at licensing its shampoo brand "Herbal Essences" and a number of other brands - including colorant brands 'Loving Care', 'Lasting Color' and 'Glints' - for 5 years to a licensee to be approved by EU regulators.
The package appeased the Commission, leading it to clear the acquisition this week.
The american consumer products company agreed to acquire 78 per cent of Wella's voting shares on 17 March. The €5.5 billion ($6.3 billion) deal is its biggest acquisition to date.
Wella is the second-largest professional-hair-color company in Europe, with 24 per cent of the European market, behind L'Oreal, with 29 per cent, according to estimates by Goldman Sachs.
Earlier this month US regulators gave P&G the all clear to acquire Wella.