Decision Nº M/03/039 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-01-16

Parties3i Group,HSS Hire Service Group
Date16 January 2004
Decision Date16 January 2004
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Decision NumberM/03/039
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/039 of the Competition Authority, dated 16 January
2004, under Section 21 of the Competition Act, 2002
Notification No. M/03/039 – Acquisition by 3i Group plc of HSS Hire Services
Group plc.
1. On 16 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 3i Group PLC (“3i”) would acquire HSS Hire
Services PLC (“HSS”).
The Parties
2. 3i is a venture capital company listed on the London Stock Exchange that has
investments in, inter alia, software and IT services, healthcare and childcare, real
estate, textiles, frozen foods, general retail, security, building materials,
engineering and machinery.
3. HSS is a company, registered in England and Wales, that is involved in the hire
of tools, equipment and small plant for construction and other commercial
purposes such as hire of power, lighting, welding, powered access and cleaning
equipment, and in the provision of associated repair and training services. HSS
also offers an event hire services including the rental of tents, chairs, flooring and
china for customers such as caterers, hoteliers and corporate hospitality
4. 3i does not carry on business in Ireland in the areas of tools and equipment hire
nor event hire services. Jet-Vac Systems Limited (“Jet-Vac”), one of 3i’s
portfolio companies, which operates and hires heavy industrial cleaning
equipment, had a limited business presence in Ireland. In particular, Jet-Vac had
contracts with Irish Steel, which has now ceased operations. Moreover, as far as
we are aware, Jet-Vac currently has no plans to enter into new contracts in the
Republic of Ireland. Therefore, there is no significant overlap in the parties’
5. Accordingly, the proposed transaction does not give rise to competition concerns.
The Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 21(2) of the Competition Act,
2002, has determined that, in its opinion, the result of the proposed acquisition will
not be to substantially lessen competition in markets for goods and services in the
State and, accordingly, that the acquisition may be put into effect.

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