Competition – press release

Abandonment of de-icing merger

The CMA has cancelled its merger investigation into Clariant’s anticipated acquisition of Kilfrost’s de-/anti-icing fluids business.

This follows Clariant and Kilfrost’s decision to abandon the transaction. In its provisional findings last month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had indicated that it might block the merger. Clariant and Kilfrost are the 2 largest suppliers of aircraft de- and anti-icing fluids (ADF) in the UK and the rest of the European Economic Area.

The group of independent panel members investigating the merger had provisionally found that the merger could lead to higher prices for ADF or a reduction in choice and quality, particularly in relation to security of supply - a key requirement for UK customers.

As the CMA has received assurances from the parties that the anticipated acquisition has now been abandoned, it has formally cancelled its merger investigation.

ADF is sprayed onto aeroplanes while on the ground in order to prepare them for take-off and flight in winter conditions. ADF removes and protects against the formation of frost or ice and slush or snow.

John Wotton, Inquiry Chair, said:

The decision to abandon will maintain competition in the market for these essential products. We were concerned that if the 2 largest suppliers in this market joined forces they would be able to raise prices. Not only that but with a lack of rivalry from existing or new suppliers, the merger would have deprived customers of an alternative secure source of supply.

All information relating to the investigation is available on the CMA case page.

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on merger cases.
  2. The merger was referred for a phase 2 investigation in February 2016.
  3. All the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by inquiry groups chosen from the CMA’s panel members. The appointed inquiry group are the decision-makers on phase 2 inquiries.
  4. The CMA’s panel members come from a variety of backgrounds, including economics, law, accountancy, business; the membership of an inquiry group usually reflects a mix of expertise and experience.
  5. The members of the inquiry group are: John Wotton (Chair), Jayne Scott, Michael Hutchings and Tim Tutton.
  6. Enquiries should be directed to Siobhan Allen (siobhan.allen@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6460) or Rory Taylor (rory.taylor@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 0203 738 6798).