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Brussels, 21 March 2011

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of logistics company TDG by rival Norbert Dentressangle

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Laxey Logistics, the holding company of the UK-based logistics provider TDG, by the France-based logistics and transport company Norbert Dentressangle. After examining the markets for contract logistics, freight forwarding and road freight transport, the Commission concluded that the operation would not significantly reduce effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or part of it.

Norbert Dentressangle provides logistics and transport services across Europe. Laxey Logistics is a holding company whose only shareholding consists of TDG. TDG supplies logistics services in the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Germany and Spain.

The transaction leads to horizontal overlaps between the activities of Norbert Dentressangle and TDG, mainly in the UK. However, in the markets for contract logistics, freight forwarding and road freight transport, the combined entity achieves only rather moderate market shares. The Commission also examined the parties' position in possible narrower markets, including in particular the UK markets for contract logistics and for road freight transport of hazardous goods. The market investigation showed that, even after the acquisition of TDG, Norbert Dentressangle would continue to face competition from a number of important players also in such narrower markets. The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.

Merger control rules and procedures

In 1989, the Commission was given the power to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation). The Commission clears the vast majority of mergers without conditions and only accepts remedies or prohibits mergers when the notified transaction would lead to a significant impediment to effective competition and make consumers worse off. 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).

The operation was notified to the Commission on 14 February 2011. More information on the case is available at:

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