Decision Nº M/04/042 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-08-26

Decision Date26 August 2004
Date26 August 2004
Decision NumberM/04/042
PartiesWolseley Overseas Limited,Brooks Group Limited
StatusPreliminary investigation (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/04/042 of the Competition Authority, dated 26
Notification No. M/04/042 – The proposed acquisition by Wolseley
Overseas Limited of Brooks Group Limited.
1. On 30 July 2004 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 Wolseley Overseas Limited
(“Wolseley”) would acquire Brooks Group Limited (“Brooks Group”) (“the
proposed acquisition”).
The Parties
2. Wolseley, the acquirer, is a subsidiary of Wolse ley plc, which is based in
the UK. Wolseley plc supplies goods and services for the central heating,
plumbing, bathroom, drainage, construction and repair & maintenance
sectors, mainly to trade professional customers, through branch networks
in a number of European countries. Wolseley plc operates in the State
through two chains of retail outlets: Heatmerchants / Gas & Oil Parts
(“Heatmerchants”), which supplies heating & plumbing products, gas and
oil replacement parts, and gas appliances, mainly to trade professionals;
and Tubs & Tiles / Allwood Flooring (“Tubs & Tiles”), which supplies tile,
bathroom furniture and accessories, and wood flooring to trade and public
customers. In the State, Heatmerchants has 35 outlets and Tubs & Tiles
has 15 outlets.
3. Brooks Group, the target, is a subsidiary of a Finnish company, UPM
Kymenne Corporation (“UPM”). In the State, Brooks Group supplies timber
products and building materials to builders, joinery and furniture
manufacturers, other builder merchants, and DIY users. Products supplied
by Brooks Group can be broadly categorised as soft and hard woods, sheet
materials, heavy building materials, ironmongery, plumbing and heating
products, and industrial flooring. Brooks Group has 15 outlets in the State,
and 3 outlets in Northern Ireland.
Commercial Rationale
4. […]
5. Wolseley and Brooks Group submit that their respective businesses in the
State are in the main complementary and that they only compete
horizontally in two sectors: supply of wood flooring; and supply of heating
and plumbing products. Both Tubs & Tiles and Brooks Group have wood
flooring outlets in Galway, Sligo, Limerick, Tralee, Cork, Waterford and
Dublin. Both Heatmerchants and Brooks Group have heating and plumbing
outlets in Sligo. The Authority’s market enquiries confirm that these
product and geographic sectors are the principal areas where overlap

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