China’s competition authorities are holding up the takeover of UK acrylics maker Lucite by a Japanese materials group, the Financial Times reported. Mitsubishi Rayon had agreed to acquire Lucite for US$1.6 billion in November and had expected to complete the deal by January. However, sources told the paper that China’s Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) has withheld approval for the acquisition, making it the only global antitrust regulator to not approve the deal. While neither Mitsubishi Rayon nor Lucite are based in China, both companies have sales and manufacturing in in the country, thus requiring MofCom approval for any takeover. Analysts told the paper that blocking the deal would lead to fresh concerns of protectionism in China. China last month rejected a planned US$2.4 billion takeover of juice maker Huiyuan by Coca-Cola.