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Spirit Aero wins conditional EU okay for Asco buy

BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) - U.S. aircraft parts maker Spirit Aerosystems' secured conditional EU approval on Wednesday to buy Asco Industries after agreeing to modify a joint venture which deals with Airbus to avoid the possibility of anti-competitive practices.

Spirit announced the $650 million deal in May last year to boost sales to Airbus.

The European Commission said it was concerned about the impact of the deal on Belairbus, a joint venture between Asco, plane parts maker Sonaca and BMT Eurair.

"Spirit offered to structurally modify the set-up of Belairbus to permanently eliminate its role as a commercial and technical platform for negotiations with Airbus," the EU competition enforcer said.

"As a result, all future contract negotiations will be carried out bilaterally and independently between each supplier and Airbus," it said.

The companies will also set up mechanisms to destroy any existing commercially sensitive information of Sonaca held by Asco. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Thomas Escritt)