Competition Commission of Singapore initiates in depth review of proposed merger between maritime products suppliers
CCS received a notification for decision on 10 August 2017 on whether the proposed acquisition by Wilhelmsen Maritime Services AS (“WMS”) of sole control over Drew Marine’s technical solutions, fire, safety and rescue businesses (“Drew Marine Technical Solutions” or “DMTS”) would infringe the prohibition in the Competition Act (Cap. 50B) against anticompetitive mergers WMS and DMTS overlap in the supply of marine chemicals (cleaning chemicals, water treatment chemicals and fuel oil treatment chemicals), marine gases (welding gases and refrigerant gases) and marine welding equipment, CCS said in its press release.
Phase 1 review of the Proposed Transaction was completed on 29 September 2017. At the end of the Phase 1 review, based on information furnished by WMS and DMTS (collectively, the “Parties”), and third-party feedback from customers and other suppliers, CCS was unable to clear the merger as it had competition concerns. In particular, CCS found that the Parties are two of the largest players that possess extensive global networks of end-to-end distribution and offer ancillary services for the provision of chemicals, gases and equipment to the marine sector, and they appear to be each other’s closest competitors. Other suppliers may face difficulty achieving sufficient geographic scale to be viable alternative sources of supply and to exert sufficient competitive pressure on the merged entity post-merger, especially for customers that procure on a global basis. The Proposed Transaction may therefore substantially lessen competition in the supply of these products in Singapore, and therefore requires a more in depth Phase 2 review.
WMS has filed the relevant documents on 27 October 2017, and the Proposed Transaction has now proceeded to a Phase 2 review. CCS has to undertake a more detailed and extensive examination of the effects of the merger within 120 working days. The Parties may offer commitments to address the potential competition concerns at any time during the Phase 2 review. By the end of the Phase 2 review, CCS will decide whether to issue a favourable or unfavourable decision.
In relation to the Phase 2 review, CCS is inviting all feedback and views in relation to the Proposed Transaction.
About The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS)
CCS is a statutory board established under the Competition Act (Chapter 50B) on 1 January 2005 to administer and enforce the Act. It comes under the purview of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The Act empowers CCS to investigate alleged anti- competitive activities, determine if such activities infringe the Act and impose suitable remedies, directions and financial penalties.