The Market Court has extended the time limit for further proceedings related to Caverion Industria Oy’s proposed acquisition of Maintpartner Group Oy, which is being investigated by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), until 24 November 2019. The FCCA applied for an extension as new documentation submitted by Caverion delays the merger investigation.
On 20 May 2019, the FCCA was notified of an arrangement whereby Caverion proposed to acquire Maintpartner. Caverion specialises in technical solutions for buildings and industrial operators, including technical maintenance services for industrial facilities. Maintpartner offers operation and maintenance services for various industrial sectors, as well as project engineering and installation services to complement maintenance operations.
On 20 June 2019, the FCCA opened an in-depth investigation of the merger, as the FCCA’s initial investigation indicated that the merger could impede competition on the relevant market. The original deadline for the investigation would have been 20 September 2019.
Caverion submitted of its own accord to the FCCA a significant volume of new tender documents as well as its own economic analysis based on this documentation on 20 August 2019. The FCCA had earlier been under the impression that documentation of this nature was not available. The FCCA sent to Caverion a request for information on this matter and, as a consequence, issued a so-called stop-the-clock decision on 23 August 2019 (a decision to extend the deadline). As a result of the decision, the deadline for the further proceedings would have been 24 September 2019.
As the submission of the new documentation delays the merger investigation, the FCCA has additionally requested that the Market Court extend the deadline for the in-depth investigation of the merger until 24 November 2019. Taking into account the scope of the matter and the current stage of the proceedings, the FCCA and the merging parties estimate that a delay shorter than this would not be sufficient to conclude the proceedings.
Under the Finnish Competition Act, the FCCA may unconditionally clear the merger, approve the merger subject to remedies, or propose that the Market Court prohibits the merger.
Senior Specialist Anu Ala-Outinen, tel. +358 29 505 3010
Pursuant to the section 26 subsection 3 of the Finnish Competition Act, the FCCA may extend the time limits for proceedings if the merging parties, or the entities in such a relation to them as provided in the section 24 subsections 1-3 (i.e. undertakings belonging to the same group of companies) do not submit the essential information for the merger investigation requested by the FCCA within the set time limit, or submit the information significantly incomplete or incorrect. This provision is primarily intended to be applied to situations where a company intentionally neglects to submit the information, or the submitted information is incomplete or misleading.
The Market Court may on application of the FCCA extend the three-month time limit for the further proceedings by no more than two months. It is highly exceptional for the FCCA to apply for an extended time limit for the merger proceedings.
Read more about merger control.