Decision Nº M/03/037 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-01-05

PartiesIFG Group,General Electric
Submitted Date05 December 2003
Date05 January 2003
Decision NumberM/03/037
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Decision Date05 January 2003
Determination of the Competition Authority
Public Version
Determination No. M/03/037 of the Competition Authority, dated 5 January
Notification No. M/03/037 – Acquisition by GE Capital Woodchester Limited of
a controlling interest in IFG Investment and Mortgage Services Limited and IFG
Mortgage and Assurance Services Limited
1. On 5 December 2003 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18
(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (the Act) was notified, on a mandatory basis, of
a proposal whereby GE Capital Woodchester Limited (GECW) would acquire
50% of the issued share capital of each of IFG Investment and Mortgage Services
Limited and IFG Mortgage and Assurance Services Limited (the Companies)
from IFG Group Plc (IFG).
The Parties
2. GE is a USA registered independent public company. It is a diversified industrial
corporation active in fields such as aircraft engines, appliances, power systems,
lighting, industrial systems, medical systems, plastics, speciality materials,
broadcasting, financial services and transport systems. GECW is a member of
the GE Group. It provides personal finance, specialised financing products and
other services such as equipment and car leasing, hire purchase and loans to
businesses and individuals across Ireland.
3. IFG provides financial services, financial advisory and intermediary services in
the UK and Ireland. The Companies provide independent mortgage advisory
services to mortgage lenders by arranging the provision of mortgage loans as a
mortgage intermediary and through a network of agents all of which are
mortgage intermediaries.
4. The purpose of the acquisition is to form a joint venture between GE and IFG to
develop a new residential mortgage product in the State – specialist residential
mortgages designed for customers who demonstrate debt capacity despite not
fitting the existing fixed underwriting criteria of other financial institutions.
5. There is no horizontal overlap in the activities of the parties. GE has a small
presence in the State in relation to its specialist residential mortgage product. This
residential mortgage product is offered via the Companies rather than directly by
GE under a pilot programme. GE’s share of residential mortgages in the State is
less than 1%. The Companies do not act as mortgage lenders.
6. There is a vertical overlap between the activities of the parties. The Companies
may provide mortgage intermediary services to a number of mortgage lenders,
including GE. However, it is unlikely that the acquisition will result in
foreclosure of other mortgage lenders from using the Companies services. GE’s

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