The Autorité de la concurrence - which had recently initiated an in-depth examination
relating to the Petit Forestier group’s acquisition of the Fraikin group -
notes Petit Forestier’s decision to abort the operation.
The acquisition would have given rise to a group with a quasi- monopoly
On 18 November 2016, the Petit Forestier group notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its proposed acquisition of the Fraikin group, its main competitor in the refrigerated industrial vehicle hire sector in France.
This operation entailed the number 1 (Petit Forestier) on the refrigerated industrial vehicle hire market in France acquiring the sector number 2. The ensuing change from four to three national players in this market would have resulted in a quasi-monopoly by the new entity, with a 90% share of the refrigerated industrial vehicle long-term leasing market.
Potential risks of price increases for business customers
The operation would have created significant overlap between the respective activities of the parties at local level in the refrigerated industrial vehicle hire and long-term leasing markets. At local level, the resulting entity would have had market share exceeding 50% in more than a hundred geographic areas.
In the light of multiple exchanges with market participants (suppliers, competitors and customers) and after conducting quantitative tests, the Autorité identified a non-negligible risk of price increases for customers, a large proportion of which are independent craftsmen.
Considering the commitments submitted by Petit Forestier to be inadequate, the Autorité launched an in-depth examination
The Autorité studied the case in great detail, including extensive correspondence with the companies concerned, and in particular Petit Forestier. In a spirit of open, constructive dialogue, the Autorité sought to work with the parties to identify potential solutions (disposal of local branches, vehicles and contracts) that would have enabled the operation to be concluded while also addressing concerns in terms of fair competition.
The structural commitments proposed by Petit Forestier in late December were market-tested and found to be far from sufficient to foster the emergence of a participant able to exert competitive pressure on the resulting entity.
The Autorité had therefore decided to proceed to phase 2.
The Autorité takes notes today of Petit Forestier’s decision to abort the proposed operation.
> Press contact: Chloé Duretête / Tel.: +33 (0)1 55 04 01 20 / Mel