In September 2019, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) approved the transaction by which Liqui-Box acquired DS Smith’s Plastics Division. Liqui-Box are active in liquid packaging and dispensing and DS Smith are active in packaging solutions for liquids. The CMA considered that the merger would lead to a significant lessening of competition in the market for the supply of one specialist type of packaging called Bag-in-Box (BiB) for edible products in the UK. The approval was therefore conditional upon the divestiture of this BiB business, in the UK . In February 2020, Liqui-Box also obtained approval for the deal in the U.S., conditional upon the divestiture of certain assets including DS Smith’s Rapak BiB business.
Compass Lexecon assisted Liqui-Box in analyzing the competitive implications of the merger in both the UK and U.S.. Our regional teams collaborated to agree a consistent approach regarding the interpretation of data and the methodology for analyses. In the UK, we completed market share analysis, analysis of customer overlaps and mapped out production sites across Europe and the UK to help draft the merger notice submitted to the CMA. We also helped respond to the various RFIs received from the CMA.