Brussels – The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Slovenian maker of prefabricated construction elements Trimo by the Irish Kingspan Group. It is concerned that the transaction may reduce competition and lead to price increases.
“Together, Kingspan and Trimo would be by far the largest player in Europe and the main supplier of high quality mineral fibre sandwich panels,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for competition policy, said on Tuesday.
“These products are important for a better insulation and energy efficiency of industrial and commercial buildings, which are key to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal. We need to ensure a healthy competitive landscape for all the businesses relying on these products to insulate their buildings.”
The Commission said its initial investigation revealed that Kingspan and Trimo currently compete in this market segment in a number of countries in Europe. It is concerned that the transaction could significantly reduce competition in Czechia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK.
In these countries, the two companies would hold high combined market shares while facing limited competition from suppliers able to offer products and services of a comparable quality.
Moreover, in most of these countries the remaining competitors would be significantly smaller than the merged entity. The proposed transaction would thus remove an important competitive constraint for both of them.
The owner of Trimo, the Polish private equity fund Innova Capital, announced the sale to Kingspan in August 2020.