Builders’ merchant Jewson has agreed a deal with the Office of Fair Trading to sell 23 stores to clear the way for its acquisition of the Build Center chain to complete.
As a result, the merger will not be referred to the Competition Commission.
Jewson, owned by French materials group Saint Gobain, acquired Build Center last year but kept the two businesses separate pending OFT clearance for full merger. The OFT concluded that the merger raised no competition concerns nationally because sufficient competitors would remain in the market, but there was cause for concern in 22 local areas. Jewson offered to sell at least one branch in each of these areas and agreement has now been reached on this.
Under the terms of the undertakings, the OFT must approve purchasers before they can buy any of the stores. The OFT will assess the suitability of purchasers in each local area to ensure that they are capable of providing sufficient competition to the merged Jewson and Build Center business and other builders merchants in the area.
OFT senior director Ali Nikpay said: “The OFT was concerned that builders and other tradesmen would see an increase in prices for building materials as a result of this merger in a number of local areas. We are satisfied that the divestments offered by Jewson will remedy these concerns and restore pre-merger competition.”