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From 1 April 2014 the Competition Commission is abolished and its functions transferred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). There will be no further updates to this website after 31 March.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) brings together the Competition Commission (CC) and the competition and certain consumer functions of the OFT. The CMA takes on its full powers and responsibilities on 1 April 2014.

CC rules against AkzoNobel/Metlac merger

21 Dec 2012


The Competition Commission (CC) has confirmed that the proposed acquisition by Akzo Nobel N.V. (AkzoNobel) of Metlac Holding S.r.l. (Metlac Holding) would result in a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) in the supply of metal packaging coatings for beer and beverage cans in the UK.


This confirms the CC’s provisional finding in relation to this market, published in September 2012. In relation to the market for supply of coatings for food, caps and closures and general line metal packaging the CC did not find that the merger may be expected to result in an SLC. This was a departure from its provisional finding, following more detailed analysis of competition in this market in the UK.

AkzoNobel has an existing stake of 49 per cent in Metlac Holding through its subsidiary Akzo Nobel Coatings International B.V. (ANCI). The remaining 51 per cent is owned by members of the Bocchio family. Metlac Holding owns 55.56 per cent of Metlac S.p.A. (Metlac), the operating company. AkzoNobel also owns the remaining 44.44 per cent of Metlac. Notwithstanding these shareholdings, AkzoNobel does not currently have sole control of Metlac.

ANCI exercised its call option to buy the remaining shares in Metlac Holding, which would have seen AkzoNobel assume sole control of the company.

The CC has found that the only remedy likely to be effective in addressing the SLC is prohibition of the transaction, which includes preventing AkzoNobel from completing the exercise of its call option. The final report is available on the AkzoNobel/Metlac merger inquiry home page along with all other information relating to the investigation.

Notes for editors

1. The CC is an independent public body, which carries out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries.

2. The members of the Akzo Nobel and Metlac Inquiry Group are: Roger Witcomb (CC Chairman and Inquiry Group chairman), Ian JonesAnthony Stern and Katherine Holmes.

3. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the case on 23 May 2012 and the CC has been asked to decide whether the acquisition may be expected to result in an SLC in any market or markets for goods or services in the UK. The statutory deadline for the publication of the CC’s final report is 1 January 2013.

4. The Enterprise Act 2002 empowers the OFT to refer to the CC completed or proposed mergers for investigation and report which create or enhance a 25 per cent share of supply in the UK (or a substantial part thereof) or where the UK turnover associated with the enterprise being acquired is over £70 million.

5. The CC has a 24-week period in which it is required to publish its report, which may be extended by no more than eight weeks if it considers that there are special reasons why the report cannot be published within that period.

6. Further information on this inquiry, including the terms of reference and other key documents, as well as on the CC and its procedures, including its policy on the provision of information and the disclosure of evidence, can be obtained from the CC website at: www.competition-commission.org.uk.

7. Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor or Siobhan Allen or by ringing 020 7271 0242.