Motor Fuel Group’s (MFG) £1.2bn takeover of MRH has moved a step forward after the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) indicated that redress offered to satisfy competition concerns “might be accepted”.
The competition watchdog said: “The CMA considers that there are reasonable grounds for believing the undertakings offered by CD&R Fund IX (which indirectly controls Motor Fuel Group), or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the CMA under the Enterprise Act 2002.”
The full text of the decision would be available “shortly” and a CMA spokeswoman said the final decision would be made “in a couple of weeks”.
The latest development comes after the CMA said earlier this month that its initial investigation had identified “concerns” at 29 locations in the UK where the two fuel operators were close competitors. It feared the takeover could lead to higher prices at those sites.
No details were forthcoming from either company about the undertakings offered to address the CMA’s concerns as part of its Phase 1 investigation.
A merger between the two would create a forecourt operator with about 930 sites before disposals.