CMA clears storage equipment merger unconditionally at Phase I

Diana Jackson

The UK Competition and Markets Authority has cleared Whittan’s acquisition of Lion Steel Equipment, at Phase I. Whittan is one of the largest UK-based manufacturers of storage equipment including pallet racking, shelving, and locker solutions. Lion Steel is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of locker and cabinet solutions and offers a limited range of shelving, benching, and seating products.

A CRA team, led by Diana Jackson assisted by Raphael Kuhlmann, assisted the parties throughout Phase I, looking into the extent of differentiation between the parties’ product range and the competitive constraints from rivals. Our work included a detailed analysis of quote information collected by the parties, examining the extent to which the parties won the business they quoted for and the extent to which they appear to quote for the same business.

The CMA found that the parties largely target different customers and that they would continue to face effective competition from a number of credible competitors of similar scale to Lion post-merger and, therefore, cleared the transaction unconditionally at the end of Phase I.  Further information and updates on the case can be found here.