European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of German automotive spare parts dealer Europart by private equity fund Triton
Brussels, 30 September 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the German automotive spare parts dealer Europart by the private equity fund Triton of Jersey. The Commission concluded that the transaction, because customers have sufficient alternative sources of supply, would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)1 or any substantial part of it.
The Commission examined in particular the vertical link between the activities of one of Triton's subsidiaries, Stabilus - a company producing various types of hydro-pneumatic adjustment elements (gas springs and hydraulic dampers) used among others for automotive applications - and Europart's activities as a trader of automotive spare parts.
The investigation showed that there are alternative and competing sources to supply gas springs and hydraulic dampers to customers and Stabilus' products are not indispensable for automotive spare parts dealers to run their business successfully. Thus it is unlikely that the merger would harm the competitors of Europart. Also, other gas springs and hydraulic dampers producers have a large customer base including car and original equipment manufactures and other wholesalers, apart from Europart. Therefore the merger would not deprive these suppliers of a crucial customer.
The proposed transaction was notified to the Commission for regulatory clearance on 26 August.
Triton is a private equity investment firm that provides management advice to, and manages investments in behalf of investment funds in European-based businesses in differing market sectors. One of its subsidiaries is Stabilus, a German company producing various types of hydro-pneumatic adjustment elements such as gas springs and hydraulic dampers, used inter alia in automotive applications including commercial vehicles.
Europart is a European trading company in the field of spare parts and accessories for all classes and brands of commercial vehicles.
Merger control rules and procedures
The Commission, in 1989, was given the power to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation). Its duty is to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.
The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).
A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:
Amelia Torres (+32 22954629)
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 22951925)
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