State aid: Commission approves €80 million Dutch rescue aid to AEB Holding

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Dutch plans to grant temporary €80 million loan to AEB Holding N.V., a waste-to-energy company based in Amsterdam, which is currently experiencing financial difficulties. EU State aid rules, more specifically, the Commission’s Guidelines on rescue and restructuring aid allow Member States to support companies in difficulties, provided, in particular, that the public support measures are limited in time and scope and contribute to an objective of common interest. In the present case, the Commission considered that the loan is limited to the company’s liquidity needs until the end of 2019. Furthermore, the Netherlands committed to ensure that, after six months, the loan will either be fully repaid, or AEB will undertake a comprehensive restructuring in order to return to viability in the long term or be liquidated. The Commission also found that the aid contributes to an objective of common interest. In this respect, the measure, by allowing AEB to keep operating, will avoid disruptions in the provision of essential waste management services, which could lead to severe social and health consequences. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the rescue loan is limited in time and scope and that its positive effects outweigh any potential distortions of competition brought about by the public intervention, in line with the Guidelines. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.55227.