THE Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has launched Phase 1 of a merger inquiry into the anticipated acquisition by Tarmac of certain assets of Breedon Group.
The proposed asset-swap deal, which was announced on 13 December 2017, would see Breedon acquire four quarries and an asphalt plant from Tarmac for £16.5 million, to be satisfied by the transfer of 27 ready-mixed concrete plants to Tarmac, plus a payment of £4.9 million in cash.
Under the terms of the deal, Breedon would acquire quarries in Inverness, Penrith and Wrexham, and a quarry and asphalt plant in Porthmadog, whilst Tarmac would gain ready-mixed concrete plants in locations extending across the UK from Dumfries in Scotland to Exeter in Devon.
However, in a statement issued on 1 February the CMA said it was ‘considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services’.
The initial period of the CMA’s merger inquiry begins today (28 February), with the deadline for a decision on whether to refer the merger for a Phase 2 investigation currently scheduled for 26 April 2018.