17 June 2024, 04:21
By Furniture News Aug 23, 2022

CMA appoints foam investigation inquiry group

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has appointed an inquiry group as it enters Phase 2 of its investigation into the anticipated acquisition by Carpenter Co of Recticel's engineered foams business.

The group consists of: Kip Meek (chair), a founder of Communications Chambers and until recently a senior adviser for EE and BT; Ulrike Hotopp, director of economic consultancy LIVE Economics; Paul Hughes, a former partner of international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills; and Karthik Subramanya, currently senior advisor with Boston Consulting Group, and a board member of Scottish Enterprise.

The CMA’s initial investigation found that the merger would remove a close competitor of Carpenter’s, with the firms representing two of just three foam producers (alongside The Vita Group) with plants in the UK. 

The in-depth Phase 2 investigation is taking place on the basis that, "on the information currently available to it, it is or may be the case that this merger has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom." 

US-based Carpenter agreed to buy Belgian firm Recticel’s global engineered foams business in a €656m deal announced in 2021. The firms both make flexible PU foam used in the manufacture of products including mattresses. They also produce processed foam (converted foam). Both companies own and operate plants in the UK.

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