The U.K.’s competition watchdog has raised concerns that the Uni-Select-LKQ deal would hamper competition and cost consumers.
The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that its investigation found that the merger could reduce competition in the supply of auto parts, as well as garage equipment, to independent garages.
This is not entirely unexpected.
Even as the talk of the “plan of arrangment” between LKQ and Uni-Select, valued at some $2.8 billion, ramped up, it was anticipated that the deal would trigger the sell-off of Uni-Select’s GSF business, which was a recent rebrand of The Parts Alliance network.
The regulator said further that it will be reviewing the deal and subsequent moves before giving its approval.
“Uni-Select and LKQ Corporation are currently reviewing the U.K. CMA’s decision and will promptly engage to formally submit a remedy proposal (UILs) to the U.K. CMA. As previously disclosed, subject to the procedure outlined in the arrangement agreement, LKQ Corporation and 9485-4692 Québec Inc. have agreed to commit to the divestiture of Uni‑Select’s GSF Car Parts business in the United Kingdom, in order to receive the clearance from the U.K. CMA,” said the companies in a joint statement.
“The arrangement remains subject to certain closing conditions, including the receipt of clearance from the U.K. CMA. If these conditions to closing are satisfied or waived, it is anticipated that the arrangement will be completed during the third quarter of 2023,” concluded the statement.
The deal recently received approval from Canadian regulators.