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Saint-Gobain cleared to take over German building materials firm Raab Karcher

On 23 June, The European Commission cleared the acquisition by French glass and building materials company Saint-Gobain of Raab Karcher, Germany“s largest builders“ merchant. The Commission found th…

On 23 June, The European Commission cleared the acquisition by French glass and building materials company Saint-Gobain of Raab Karcher, Germany“s largest builders“ merchant. The Commission found that the companies“ business overlapped in Germany and, to a minor extent, in France and the Netherlands. But it took the view that Saint-Gobain/Raab Karcher would face competition from a number of important national and European competitors, both in the production and distribution of building materials. Furthermore, the overlaps are limited both on a national and regional/local level and Saint Gobain will continue to face competition by at least four large distributors active on a national level and by a significant number of merchants on a regional/local level. Saint Gobain also produces a number of building products, which are or could in principle be distributed by Raab Karcher. However, these products account for only a small proportion of Raab Karcher“s business. Furthermore, there are a considerable number of suppliers competing in the production and sale of the building products concerned. Therefore, access to those products for Raab Karcher“s competitors will not be threatened by the present concentration. Raab Karcher is a group of companies which form the building materials distribution business of Stinnes AG, which in turn is a 65.5% subsidiary of the German Veba group. Raab Karcher itself is the largest builders“ merchant in Germany, offering a range of various building products to retailers and large end-customers. Saint Gobain has only a minor presence in three German regions in the distribution of building products needed for below-the-ground construction (so-called Tiefbau segment).

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