DONG expects the Commission to decide, within the near future, that it will need the full timeframe for its appraisal of whether the combination of DONG, Elsam, ENERGI E2, Copenhagen Energy (electricity) and Frederiksberg Forsyning is in compliance with EU rules. This means that the Com-mission will probably announce its final decision in the first quarter of 2006.
DONG expects the Commission to express concern that the combination may lead to an impairment of competition within the energy sector. The Commission consequently needs time to carry out a detailed review of the combination. This decision does not prejudge the final outcome of the Commission's in-vestigation.
In view of the Commission's increased focus on the energy sector in general - including the sector in-quiry that is currently being carried out within the EU electricity and gas sector, and the thorough ex-amination to which other merger cases within the energy sector are also subjected - it is only natural for the Commission to examine all factors thoroughly before arriving at a final decision.
Anders Eldrup, President of DONG, says: "We expect clearance to be granted in the first quarter of 2006. We are pleased that the matter is being considered in great detail, leaving no stone unturned. We have been open about everything and believe that the agreements we have made - including the agreement with Vattenfall - will create increased competition in the market.
Although an early decision would have been desirable from an employee point of view, it is better for all aspects to be covered thoroughly so that this important decision may be made on a sound basis," says Anders Eldrup.
Anders Eldrup, President, DONG A/S, +45 4517 1550
Michael Steen-Knudsen, Investor Relations, +45 4517 1556
Peter Arnfeldt, Corporate Communication, DONG, +45 4517 1550