UK watchdog mulls OK for Liqui-Box acquisition of DSS plastics unit

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UK watchdog mulls OK for Liqui-Box acquisition of DSS plastics unit

September 05, 2019 - 06:38

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Sept. 5, 2019 (Fastmarkets RISI) -The UK monopoly regulator is considering proposals from Liqui-Box, a company owned by private equity firm Olympus Partners, that could allow its delayed acquisition of the rigid and flexible plastic packaging business unit of DS Smith (DSS) to go ahead. It said it will deliver its verdict by September 30.

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) said in August it was considering whether “instead of making a reference to phase two, to accept appropriate undertakings from Liqui-Box to address the competition concerns arising from the merger.”

The proposals include divestment of some assets related to Liqui-Box’s existing and acquired UK bag-in-box business.

Liqui-Box revealed plans to buy the DSS unit in March and in July the CMA announced an initial investigation concluding the deal would leave “insufficient competition” in the UK market and referred it for a more in-depth phase two probe.

As part of its phase one investigation, the CMA found that Liqui-Box and DSS, listed on the FTSE 100, represent two of the four main companies in the UK, which are “offering a specialist type of packaging called bag-in-box to food, wine, dairy and drink suppliers.”