Competition watchdog to dig deeper into CHC acquisition of Babcock

Competition watchdog to dig deeper into CHC acquisition of Babcock

27-Sep-2021 Source: HeliHub.com

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has given notice late last week that it will dig further into the merger of the offshore operations of Babcock and CHC. Although CHC has acquired Babcock’s offshore operations in UK, Denmark and Australia, clearly the UK authority only has jurisdiction over the UK aspect of the acquisition.

Data from market intelligence firm Parapex Media shows that the offshore fleet of 30 helicopters which are central to this arrangement are currently spread as follows

  • UK – 7xS92, 7xH175, 3xAW139
  • Denmark – 3xH175
  • Australia – 2xS92, 6xAW139, 2xH175 with the latter pair operating in East Timor

Of the UK fleet, one AW139 has been stored for 8 months and one H175 was recently ferried to Airbus for corrosion remedial works which will likely see it out of service for 12 months. Additionally one S92 is still being worked on after suffering a nose wheel collapse in June, and the total includes another S92 pulled out of storage on 10th September.

The CMA will investigate for eight weeks, and will announce its decision whether to refer the Merger for a deeper “Phase 2 investigation” by 18 November 2021. They are considering whether it is (or may be) the case that this transaction has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK.

To assist it with this assessment, the CMA invites comments on the transaction from any interested party by 7th October. Written representations about any competition or public interest should be sent to Rob Fitzgerald-Crisp of the CMA at Rob.Fitzgerald-Crisp@cma.gov.uk

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