The UK Competition and Markets Authority has cleared Whittan Intermediate’s acquisition of Apex Linvar unconditionally at Phase I. Whittan Intermediate and Apex Linvar are the two largest manufacturers of steel static storage systems in the UK and also account for a large share of sales to UK customers. The parties provide steel static storage solutions to large industrial warehouses operated by retailers, manufacturers and logistics companies, among others.
A CRA team assisted the parties throughout Phase I, looking into questions of geographic market definition and the strength of competitive constraints from rivals with manufacturing facilities in Continental Europe, as well as the extent of differentiation between the parties’ offers. This included a detailed analysis of bidding information collected by the parties, as well as broader support in collecting evidence on the constraint posed by rivals with a Continental manufacturing base both through direct sales and via sales to distributors/resellers.
The CMA found that the parties would indeed continue to face effective competition post-merger, and therefore cleared the transaction unconditionally at the end of Phase I.
Further information and updates on the case can be found here.