Office of Fair Trading refers acquisition by Epwin to the competition regulator

The Office of Fair Trading has announced that it has referred the merger of two major PVC roofline product suppliers to the Competition Commission.

The OFT said the acquisition of Latium Building Products by Epwin may reduce the competitive options for roofers and builders and lead to price increases.

The companies supply replacement windows, rainwater collection products, and PVC roofline products such as soffit boards, fascia and cladding.

The OFT said that evidence it has gathered indicates that the two companies were close competitors before the merger, and post-merger the parties will be the leading suppliers in PVC roofline products.

Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director said: “We are concerned that the merger will reduce the competitive options for roofers, builders and independent stockists and could lead to price increases. We therefore believe that our duty to refer the merger to the Competition Commission has been triggered in this case.”

The Competition Commission is due to report by 2 December 2012.