In November 2021, Swiss firm Sika agreed to buy MBCC Group of Germany in a £4.5bn deal. The two companies are the largest suppliers in the UK of chemical admixtures, used with concrete and cement to control strength, setting time and other performance characteristics. Together they have more than half of the UK admixtures market. The acquisition, therefore, attracted the attention of the UK competition watchdog.
In October this year the merging businesses proposed to sell MBCC’s chemical admixtures business in the UK, across Europe and several other countries, including its central research and development assets, to address competition concerns.
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has now reviewed this proposed remedy and accepted it.
Richard Feasey, independent CMA panel chair, said: “After Sika and MBCC accepted early on that the deal would have caused competition concerns in the UK construction industry, we were able to focus our inquiry on their proposals to address our concerns. The proposals agreed today will maintain the level of innovation, services and quality in chemical admixtures available to concrete producers and help prevent this deal raising prices for the construction industry in the UK.”