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European Commission sets 3i and Countrywide deadline

The European Commission says the deadline for its inquiry into private equity group 3i’s proposed 940m acquisition of Countrywide is set for February 8.

This comes after a major shareholder, Artisan partners, attempted to block the move due to its concerns over its fairness.

The deal, which was to sell Countrywides shares to 3i at 490p a share, has been seen by Artisan to have too short a game plan and would be detrimental to Countrywide.

The deal is being examined under the EU’s ‘simplified’ merger review
procedure for cases which the commission believes do not pose competition concerns.

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