NERA's Role in KME's Acquisition of MKM

NERA Economic Consulting is pleased to have advised the merging parties in two of the four mergers approved by the European Commission on 11 December 2018. These are the acquisition of Houghton by Quaker, which has been cleared subject to conditions, and the acquisition of MKM by KME, which has been cleared following an in-depth investigation.

The Situation

In June 2018, KME notified its proposed acquisition of MKM to the European Commission. Both KME and MKM are active in the manufacturing of intermediate and semi-finished products made from copper and copper alloys. The European Commission raised the concern that the transaction could result in price increases of pure copper rolled products in the European Economic Area and sanitary copper tubes in some EU Member States.

NERA's Role

KME retained NERA Economic Consulting to evaluate the likely competitive effects of the transaction, and to assist its legal advisers throughout the merger review process. NERA submitted several economic analyses to the European Commission, demonstrating that: (i) the merged entity will be unable to increase prices of rolled products due to intense rivalry in the industry resulting from a sufficient number of competitors with substantial spare capacities; and (ii) the merged entity’s sanitary copper tubes business in certain EU Member States will be sufficiently constrained by a large number of competitors located in the same or other Member States.

The Result

After a Phase II investigation, the European Commission gave unconditional clearance to the transaction in December 2018.

For more details, please find the press release of the European Commission here.