The European Commission (EC) has today published the Decision in the Accuride/mefro wheels acquisition.
The EC cleared the acquisition of steel wheels manufacturer mefro wheels by its competitor Accuride, conditional on a divestment. mefro wheels is the largest producer of steel wheels for bus, trucks and trailers in Europe while Accuride, through its Italian subsidiary Gianetti Ruote, is the third largest producer in this area. Frontier advised Accuride on the merger clearance aspects of this acquisition.
During their Phase 1 investigation, the EC became concerned that the transaction would create the largest player in the market, with a combined share of more than 60% in Europe, and that this would significantly limit the choice of suppliers available to customers, with rival supplier Maxion remaining the sole competitor to the merged entity. The EC was concerned that this, in turn, could lead to higher prices for steel wheels for buses and trucks, not least because it concluded that suppliers from outside Europe were unlikely to become a significant competitive force to the merged entity in the near future.
To address these concerns, Accuride offered to divest Gianetti Ruote. Under this condition, the European Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns and therefore approved it.
Frontier regularly advises companies on competition issues relating to mergers and acquisitions reviewed by the European Commission.