Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Companies involved in a merger often have to obtain the approval of competition authorities and the level of scrutiny is becoming ever greater. We have a long track record of successfully advising clients throughout the competition authority approval process, across many sectors and jurisdictions.

We assist clients by quickly identifying the critical aspects of their case, and by collecting and analysing the relevant evidence. We also assist in preparing clients for interactions with the competition authority, and in responding to competition authorities’ requests for information and empirical analyses.

Poundland/99p Stores merger In February 2015, Poundland announced its plans to take over 99p Stores. At Phase 1 the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) identified 80 local areas of potential concern and referred the market for in-depth Phase 2 review. We provided analysis showing that the parties did not systematically change their competitive offers in response to each other’s presence and that the reduction in the number of competitors at a national level would not have a material impact on the level of competition. The CMA agreed with these conclusions and cleared the merger unconditionally in September 2015.

It is now standard in merger cases to use a wide range of empirical and quantitative techniques, including modelling merger effects using demand estimation. Our consultants are experts in all aspects of the relevant analyses. Equally important is presenting the results clearly, in a manner that is comprehensible to the client and the specialist alike.

We are experts in providing support during:

  • horizontal mergers between firms competing in the same market;
  • mergers raising tacit collusion concerns; and
  • vertical and conglomerate mergers that bring together firms at different levels in the supply chain or in related markets.

We are often involved in regulatory risk assessments for parties considering potential mergers. We assess the likely concerns that will arise, explore the strength of potential responses, and provide a “no holds barred” assessment of the prospects for intervention, so that parties can make their decisions on the best information available. We also assist in designing remedy packages for potential concerns.

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