BusinessCorporate FinanceContinence acquisition springs a leak

Continence acquisition springs a leak

Competition minister Melanie Johnson says the acquisition of an SSL International subsidiary by Danish healthcare company Coloplast infringes UK competition laws.

Coloplast submitted its proposal to acquire SSL’s continence care business to the UK’s competition authorities last May.

The acquisition took place on 29 September 2001 but concerns were raised about the loss of competition in the continence care products market. Investigations on the acquisition by the Competition Commission began in January 2002.

The investigation found the acquisition of the SSL business would increase Coloplast’s share of the market from 34% to 92% and the acquirer would gain the right to be the exclusive UK distributor until 2007 of products supplied by the Mentor Corporation of the USA.

Johnson confirmed the findings of the CC that the acquisition in its present form ‘operated against the public interest’.

She said Coloplast should renegotiate the completed acquisition with Mentor to amend their agreement to secure either divestment of Coloplast’s incontinence brand, or divestment of the brand and product, within six months.

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