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Business

Heidelberg’s MBO merger blocked

The Federal Cartel Office, Germany’s national competition regulator, has blocked the planned acquisition of the MBO Group by Heidelberg.

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Heidelberg’s planned acquisition of MBO is prohibited

It was first announced in October of 2018 that Heidelberg was set to acquire rival manufacturer MBO after reaching an agreement as part of its plan to expand post-press offerings.

Andreas Mundt, president of the Federal Cartel Office says: “By acquiring the MBO group the market leader Heidelberger Druckmaschinen would take over its main competitor. There are already only four companies active on the relevant market throughout the whole of Europe.

“The merger would create a dominant position for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen and significantly impede competition in the market to the detriment of customers. We have conducted very intensive investigations into the market.

“We carefully considered the relevant economic market definition and found that from a customer perspective industrial sheet folding machines constitute a single product market.”

We note the decision with regret and go our own way, even if we have a different view on the future market position of the combined company

Heidelberg chief executive officer Rainer Hundsdörfer says: “We note the decision with regret and go our own way, even if we have a different view on the future market position of the combined company.”

In a statement, Heidelberg says both companies “continue to believe that integrating MBO’s offer would have increased customer value in terms of a smooth industrial process in the digital future” and that business would continue as normal for the separate companies.

Friedheim International distributes MBO machinery in the UK and says there will be “little to no effect” on MBO’s manufacturing and research and development.

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