Affected market: Residential and nursing care.
The OFT's decision on reference under section 22 of the Enterprise Act
2002 given on 14 January 2005
The Blackstone Group (Blackstone) is a private merchant banking
firm, based in New York, holding investments in a variety of companies
and properties. Southern Cross Healthcare Holdings Limited (Southern
Cross) is a provider of long-term residential and nursing care for the
elderly. Southern Cross' UK turnover for the financial year ending 31
March 2004 was £157.8 million.
Blackstone acquired Southern Cross on 15 September 2004 (the transaction
being announced the following day). The statutory deadline for the
consideration of this merger expires on 15 January 2005. The OFT's
administrative deadline for consideration expires after this date.
As a result of this transaction Blackstone and Southern Cross have
ceased to be distinct. The UK turnover of Southern Cross exceeds £70
million, so the turnover test in section 23(1)(b) of the Enterprise Act
2002 (the Act) is satisfied. The OFT therefore believes that it is the
case that a relevant merger situation has been created.
The parties do not overlap in the supply of any good or service.
THIRD PARTY VIEWS
No third party expressed concerns.
No overlaps or vertical issues are created by this merger.
Consequently, the OFT does not believe that it is or may be the case
that the merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of
competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom.
This merger will therefore not be referred to the Competition Commission
under section 22(1) of the Act.
Published 14 January 2005