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CCCS Ends Assessment of Maritime Products Merger After Parties Abandon Merger

2018, Singapore, Mergers & Acquisitions

CCCS has ended its assessment of the proposed acquisition by Wilhelmsen Maritime Services AS (“WMS”) of sole control over Drew Marine’s technical solutions, fire, safety and rescue businesses (“Drew Marine Technical Solutions” or “DMTS”) (WMS and DMTS collectively the “Parties”) (the “Proposed Transaction”), after the Parties abandoned the Proposed Transaction.

WMS and DMTS overlap in the supply of marine chemicals (marine cleaning chemicals, marine water treatment chemicals and marine fuel oil treatment chemicals), marine gases (marine welding gases and marine refrigerant gases) and marine welding equipment.

On 25 May 2018, CCCS issued a provisional decision to the Parties, upon making a provisional finding that the Proposed Transaction was likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for the supply of marine water treatment chemicals (including ancillary materials and services) in Singapore, thereby infringing section 54 of the Competition Act. This provisional decision followed CCCS’s in-depth review of the Proposed Transaction, and was based on information furnished by the Parties and third-party feedback, in the Phase 1 and Phase 2 reviews. CCCS also cooperated with the US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in the course of reviewing the Proposed Transaction.

On 23 July 2018, WMS withdrew its application for a decision by CCCS. WMS’s withdrawal of its application was made after the US District Court for the District of Columbia granted a preliminary injunction (on the application of the FTC) against the Proposed Transaction. The FTC had earlier filed a complaint charging that the Proposed Transaction would violate US antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition in the market for marine water treatment chemicals and services used by global fleets. The preliminary injunction was to temporarily block the Proposed Transaction, pending the outcome of an administrative trial to determine whether the Proposed Transaction would violate US antitrust laws.Consequently, on 22 July 2018, WMS announced that the Parties have agreed to abandon the Proposed Transaction.