Decision Nº M/04/051 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2005-01-06

Decision NumberM/04/051
PartiesGrafton Group plc,Heiton Group plc
StatusCleared with conditions (Phase 2)
6th January 2005
NEWS RELEASE
The Competition Authority clears Grafton’s acquisition of
Heiton following a full investigation
The Competition Authority announced today (6th January) that it has approved
the proposed acquisition by Grafton Group plc of Heiton Group plc with two
conditions. Both parties are involved in provision of retail DIY and builders
merchanting services. Grafton and Heiton are public limited companies, and are
both listed on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges.
The Competition Authority received notification of the proposed acquisition on
10th September 2004. The Authority is required under the Mergers and
Acquisitions section of the Competition Act 2002 to determine whether the result
of the proposed acquisition will “substantially lessen competition” in markets for
goods or services in the State.
On 17th November the Authority announced its decision to carry out a full (Phase
2) investigation in relation to the proposed acquisition. This decision came after
a preliminary investigation (Phase 1), where the Authority had been unable to
conclude without further investigation that the transaction will not substantially
lessen competition.
The Authority’s investigation of the proposed acquisition examined the effect on
competition in the provision of retail DIY and builders merchanting services.
According to Ted Henneberry, Director of the Mergers Division in The Competition
Authority, “These companies operate in important sectors of the economy where
any significant reduction in competition could damage individual consumers,
construction businesses and related trades. We have reached our decision after
several months of intensive investigation. One of the critical factors is that entry
and expansion of rivals has already had a significant pro-competitive effect in this
industry. Our investigation demonstrated that there will be continued entry and
expansion throughout the country.”
Text of The Competition Authority’s Determination
Having completed its full investigation, the Competition Authority, in accordance with
Section 22(3)(c) of the Competition Act 2002, has made a conditional determination,
effective from today’s date, that the result of the proposed acquisition will not be to
substantially lessen competition in markets for goods or services in the State, if the
following specified conditions are complied with.
Condition 1: For three years from the date on which the acquisition is put into effect, the
Grafton Group and its successors will inform the Authority in advance of all proposed
mergers or acquisitions in the builders’ merchants sector in the State, in which it is
involved, and will notify such proposed transactions in accordance with Section 18(3) of
the Competition Act 2002 when requested to do so by the Authority.
Condition 2: Pursuant to Section 22(6) of the Competition Act 2002, the acquisition must
be put into effect within 12 months after the making of the determination.
ENDS
For further information contact:
Mark Garrett, Communications Manager, The Competition Authority
Tel: 01 8045406 Mobile: 086 601 9655 email: mg@tca.ie
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