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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the $2.1 billion acquisition of Ferro Corp. by Prince International Corp.’s parent company, American Securities Partners VII, L.P., likely would allow the merged firm to unilaterally raise prices in the North American market for porcelain enamel frit.

First announced in April 2022, the complaint alleged that the acquisition would eliminate Prince as an independent competitor in the world market for glass enamel, increasing the likelihood of coordination between the merged firm and its largest competitor, Fenzi Holdings SPV S.p.A. It also alleged that the acquisition would harm competition in the world markets for forehearth colorants.

Under the terms of the final settlement agreement, Prince and Ferro are required to divest three facilities used to make porcelain enamel frit, glass enamel, and forehearth colorants, as a condition the acquisition. The order also requires American Securities Partners to obtain prior approval from the Federal Trade Commission for 10 years before buying assets to manufacture and sell porcelain enamel frit, glass enamel, or forehearth colorants. And it requires divestiture buyer KPS Capital Partners, LP to obtain prior approval for three years before transferring any of the divested assets to any buyer, and seven additional years before transferring any of the divested assets to a buyer that manufactures and sells porcelain enamel frit, glass enamel, or forehearth colorants.

The Commission vote to approve the final order was 4-0-1. Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya did not participate.

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Steve Wilensky
Bureau of Competition