Berendsen/Kings Laundry merger update
July 8, 2020
On 8 July 2019, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) cleared, subject to a number of legally binding commitments, the proposed acquisition of sole control of Kings Laundry Limited (Kings Laundry) by Berendsen Ireland Limited (Elis/Berendsen).
To obtain the CCPC’s approval, Elis/Berendsen was required to submit commitments that it would divest a number of contracts with healthcare customers to a suitable third-party supplier to replace the competition that would be lost as a result of the proposed acquisition. The commitments specified the value and composition of the healthcare contracts (i.e. public hospitals) to be sold. The suitability of the purchaser of the healthcare contracts was also subject to the approval of the CCPC.
A monitoring trustee was appointed on 24 July 2019 to monitor and advise the CCPC on the preservation and divestment of the healthcare contracts. Following much engagement with the trustee and relevant parties, on 31 January 2020, the CCPC approved Linencare as a third-party purchaser of the healthcare contracts subject to a number of conditions being met in advance, or at the time, of any submission by Elis/Berendsen.
On 12 June 2020, Elis/Berendsen made a reasoned submission to the CCPC together with documentation to support their view that they have fulfilled the requirements of the commitments. On 19 June 2020, the monitoring trustee submitted a written report which concluded that the requirements set out in the commitments have been fulfilled. Following an assessment of these reports and other available evidence, on 26 June 2020, the CCPC confirmed that, in its view, Elis/Berendsen has fulfilled the requirements set out in the commitments attached to the CCPC Merger Determination. The divested contracts were transferred to Linencare on 6 July 2020 and the acquisition of Kings Laundry was put into effect on 7 July 2020.
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