Decision Nº M/04/019 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-04-22

JurisdictionIreland
PartiesSarcon Ltd,Barlo Group Ltd
Date22 April 2004
Decision Date22 April 2004
StatusPreliminary investigation (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Decision NumberM/04/019
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/04/019 of the Competition Authority, dated 22nd April
2004, under Section 21 of the Competition Act 2002
Notification No. M/04/019 - The proposed acquisition by Sarcon (no.159) Limited
of Barlo Group plc
Introduction
1. On 2nd April 2004 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18(1)
of the Competition Act 2002, was notified, on a mandatory basis, of a proposal
whereby Sarcon (no.159) Limited (“Sarcon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Quinn Group Limited (“Quinn Group”) would acquire Barlo Group plc (“Barlo
Group”) by way of a public bid - “the proposed acquisition”.
The Parties
2. Quinn Group, a Northern Ireland registered company, owns and controls 31
subsidiary companies and operates mainly in Ireland and the UK. Quinn Group’s
main areas of business are hospitality (public houses and hotels); non-life
insurance and finance services; and manufacture and supply of construction
materials (cement, tarmac, aerated concrete blocks, concrete roof tiles, pre-
stressed concrete, pre-stressed flooring, and general quarry and concrete
products), polystyrene insulation and container glass.
3. Barlo Group is an Irish registered company whose separate subsidiary companies
manufacture transparent and coloured plastic sheeting, plastic packaging for dairy
products (e.g. butter spreads) and domestic and industrial heating radiators, for
supply in Ireland, the UK and continental Europe.
Analysis
4. Quinn Group does not intend to integrate any of Barlo Group’s subsidiaries into
its businesses – post-acquisition, Barlo Group’s subsidiaries would continue to
operate as separate businesses. For consideration of any possible product overlaps
that might result from the proposed acquisition, only certain products of the
notifying parties need be considered, as set out below:
Polystyrene Insulation - Quinn LitePac Limited (“Quinn Litepac”), a
subsidiary of Quinn Group, manufactures plain board polystyrene thermal
insulation. Plain board insulation can be used as a packaging material but
its main application is as insulation - sales as a packaging material are
minimal and ancillary. There is no significant substitutability between
polystyrene insulation and the plastic sheets and polypropylene tubs
(packaging materials) manufactured by Barlo Group - they differ in
weight, strength, durability and purpose and have distinct end-
applications. The different end users/customers of the respective products
indicates that they are not substitutable. Also, Quinn LitePac states that it
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