Brussels, 6 September 2005
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Ruhrgas Industries of Germany, a group of companies mainly active in the manufacture and sale of meters for gas, electricity and water consumption, and in the supply of related services, by CVC Capital Partners S.a.r.l. of Luxembourg. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
CVC Capital Partners S.a.r.l. (CVC) is a group of companies, which provides investment and management advice to investment funds and management of investments on their behalf.
Ruhrgas Industries (RI) is an international group of companies mainly active in the manufacture and sale of meters for gas, electricity and water consumption, and in the supply of related services (mainly maintenance and repair) as well as in the production of industrial furnaces. RI is currently controlled by E.ON Ruhrgas Aktiengesellschaft.
The transaction does not give rise to any horizontal overlaps. However, since one of the companies belonging to CVC, ista, is active in the supply of metering services - the activity of reading, recording, collecting and processing consumption data in relation to meters - in a number of European countries, the Commission also examined the impact of the operation at a vertical level.
Following its market investigation, the Commission has concluded that the transaction does not raise any vertical competition concerns. In particular, the Commission took into account the fact that after the operation there would still be alternative and competing sources of supply in the upstream markets for the production of meters whereas a significant part of the demand would still be open to competition in the downstream metering market(s) where, for the time being, utility companies constitute the main clients of meter producers.