11 December 2023

UK merger of two major air conditioning and refrigeration wholesalers cleared

Following a detailed Phase 1 investigation, on 23 November 2023 the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) granted conditional approval to Wolseley UK to acquire Kooltech subject to remedies in only one local area. 

The Parties are both UK-wide suppliers of refrigeration and air conditioning products.  The CMA investigated horizontal concerns both at the national and local level.  Having found no concerns at the national level, the CMA ultimately adopted a “filtering approach” to assess whether Wolseley and Kooltech would face sufficient competition post-merger at their local branches throughout the UK.  While the Parties have multiple overlapping branches, the CMA identified concerns in only one area, Aberdeen, where the two companies are the only wholesalers of refrigeration and air conditioning products.  RBB assisted Wolseley throughout pre-notification and during Phase I, including submitting a report on the CMA’s proposed local assessment methodology.

RBB's team, led by Ethel Fonseca, and supported by Mark Brisske, worked alongside Eversheds Sutherland.

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