CMA gives pair until end of this week  ‘to offer solutions’ to resolve worries

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns that the acquisition of a British ventilation company by its Swedish rival could increase prices for the construction industry. 

Lindab, a ventilation company headquartered in Sweden and listed in Stockholm, strengthened its sales and production capacity in the UK last October by announcing its acquisition of Birmingham-based HAS-Vent. 


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The deal would mean the combined company would supply around half the market for circular ducts and fittings

However, after an initial phase 1 investigation, the CMA has found that the deal combines the current market leader with the second largest supplier of circular ducts and fittings, and that the combined business would likely supply around half the market. 

Sorcha O’Carroll, senior director for mergers at the CMA, said the watchdog was “concerned this deal between Lindab and HAS-Vent may reduce competition in England and Wales, leading to higher prices for construction projects”. 

“It is now up to Lindab and HAS-Vent to offer solutions to our concerns, otherwise this case will proceed to a more in-depth Phase 2 investigation,” she added. 

In a statement, issued on Friday, the CMA said the two firms now have five working days to offer solutions which resolve the CMA’s competition concerns.  

The CMA has been active in the construction industry in recent year, wrapping up a major investigation into bid-rigging among demolitions firms last year. 

Earlier this month, the body won a legal challenge relating to warrants to search domestic properties as part of that probe.  

The competition watchdog has also recently opened an investigation into Barratt’s proposed £2.5bn merger with Redrow and has launched an inquiry into alleged breaches of the Competition Act by eight housebuilders after a probe into anti-competitive activity in the housebuilding sector.