European Commission - Press release
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of a controlling stake in Behr by Mahle
Brussels, 24 June 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over Behr by Mahle, both German manufacturers of components for automotive and motor vehicles. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the parties have moderate combined market shares and that a number of other credible suppliers remain in the market.
Under the proposed transaction, Mahle would increase its current minority shareholding in Behr, to gain joint control together with the current owner, the Behr family. The transaction was notified to the Commission on 17 May 2011.
The activities of the parties overlap with respect to one product: oil-water heat exchangers for on-highway applications. However, the Commission's investigation showed that the parties combine shares on this market are moderate and that customers still be able to source oil-water heat exchangers from several other suppliers in the market.
Thermostats and oil-water heat exchangers (produced by Behr) are inter alia an input for oil filter modules (produced by Mahle). However the Commission's investigation showed that the ultimate purchasers of these products will have enough sources of supply after the transaction.
The companies and products
Mahle is active world-wide in the development, manufacturing and sale of components and systems for automotive and motor vehicles. Mahle ranks among the top systems suppliers worldwide for piston systems, cylinder components, as well as valve train, air management, and liquid management systems.
Behr produces and supplies original equipment for passenger and commercial vehicles, in particular components and complete systems of motor cooling and air-conditioning for automotive vehicles. Behr is currently mainly owned and controlled by the Behr family. Mahle has a minority shareholding in Behr.
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 European Economic Area (EEA)1 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: