CCA clears Baumit/WP concentration

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) cleared in Phase I the concentration between the undertakings Baumit Beteiligungen from Austria and W&P building materials from Croatia consisting of W&P Baustoffe Austria and its shares in other undertakings including the entitled branding and domain name, particularly involving the group of brands Baumit and Kema.

The transaction will have effects in several European countries whereas its effects in Croatia will derive from the overlapping activities of the connected undertakings to the participants of the concentration with their seat in Croatia, precisely, involving the following undertakings: I.T.V., Baumit Croatia and Kema.

The concentration will therefore produce effects in the manufacturing and distribution of mortar and plaster used for building walls and flat roofs in several Croatian regions, whereas the effects on the whole territory of Croatia will include gluing material and flattening paste, paste and protective coatings and thermal insulation materials – ETICS.

In addition, through its connected undertakings – Austroterm and Lovrenčić – Baumit is present in Croatia in the insulation materials market and the building materials retail market.

Following the implementation of concentration Baumit will slightly strengthen its market position holding the market shares from 0-5 % to maximum 10-20% in the mortar and plaster market. In the gluing material and flattening paste market after the implementation of concentration Baumit will take the leading position in the relevant market concerned with some 20-30% market share, whereas in the paste and protective coating market it will take the second position with a market share amounting to some 10-20%. It will hold the second position also in the external thermal insulation systems market – ETICS.

The assessment of all the received documentation by the CCA showed that there is a noteworthy number of competing undertakings in the relevant markets concerned, such as ROFIX, Samoborka, Chromos Svjetlost and Bekement, with their respective market shares of some 10-20 % depending on the relevant market concerned.

Secondly, it showed that the scope of vertical integration of the participants to the concentration is not significant where the undertakings concerned make their purchases from independent players. What is more, the implementation of concentration will reduce the costs and consequently produce positive effects of the economy of scale that will ensure the purchase of building materials for the participants of the concentration from both the connected and independent undertakings under more favourable conditions compared with the pre-merger period. This should actually decrease the prices for the final consumers.

Taking all above said into account, the CCA found that the concentration in question will not have negative effects on competition and cleared the concentration in the first phase. No replies or comments to the CCA public request for information have been submitted.