NCC’s Destia asphalt acquisition approved

By Helen Wright25 November 2011

The Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) has given the green light to Nordic Construction Company's (NCC) acquisition of Destia's asphalt operations, but with conditions attached.

The regulator initially opposed the deal and requested that the case be tried in the Finnish Market Court over concerns that it would have impeded competition in the asphalt mix market around Finland's capital, Helsinki.

But NCC said the Finnish Market Court had now approved a rewritten deal which did not include the acquisition of an asphalt works in the Helsinki area.

"NCC opted not to complete the agreement signed in March and instead decided to enter into a new agreement with Destia," the contractor said, adding that the deal would still see it acquire all of Destia's asphalt paving operations, with the exception of the single Helsinki facility.

NCC said the businesses it was acquiring had 2010 sales of SEK375 million (€40.5 million) and about 80 employees who will be transferred to NCC Roads. The takeover is expected to be completed in December.

The opposition from the FCA was only the second such move in Finland since merger control was introduced to the country in 1998. The FCA felt that the original version of the deal would have seen asphalt mix sold only by NCC Roads and Lemminkäinen in the capital city area - potentially leading to a situation where the sellers could have kept prices above a competitive level.

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