The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of BPB plc. (“BPB”), the UK producer of plasterboard and other plaster-based products by Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (“Saint-Gobain”) of France. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Saint-Gobain, listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, is a global manufacturer of high-technology materials. Its activities include the production and sale of materials such as glass, ceramics, plastics and building materials, notably insulation materials. Saint-Gobain is also active as a distributor of building materials via various subsidiaries (e.g. Point P, Jewson, Raab Karcher, Dahl) in several EEA countries.
BPB, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is principally active in the production and sale of plasterboards and other plaster-based products, mainly under the Gyproc and Placoplâtre brands, both in Europe and worldwide. The BPB group is also a supplier of insulation materials made from foams, plaster-based ceiling products and related products for interiors.
The takeover will create a new entity that is present in all key global building materials markets with product offerings across a broad range, particularly insulation and plasterboard.
The Commission’s examination of the deal showed that the horizontal overlaps between the activities of Saint-Gobain and BPB are limited and that, for all markets concerned, the combined firm will continue to face several strong, effective competitors with significant market shares.
The Commission also studied the vertical relationships between BPB and Saint-Gobain, as a number of distributors of the Saint-Gobain group purchase and resell plaster-based products and insulation materials, including those manufactured by BPB. It was concluded that there would be no risk of any of the markets concerned being closed off, as significant alternative and competing sources of supply would continue to be available after the takeover.