Following a Phase II investigation in July 2022, Permanent TSB PLC (‘PTSB’) received unconditional clearance from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (‘CCPC’) for the €7.6 billion purchase of certain assets of Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (‘Ulster Bank’) in the Republic of Ireland.
Compass Lexecon was retained by PTSB, a provider of retail and SME banking, and its legal counsel, Arthur Cox, to provide support during the merger notification process. Ulster Bank provides services for personal and commercial banking, and had previously announced its intention to withdraw all of its banking services in the State.
Compass Lexecon assisted with a market share analysis for relevant antitrust markets, as well as with economic analyses of closeness of competition, the likelihood of unilateral effects and the evaluation of efficiencies generated by the transaction. By demonstrating that the proposed acquisition would not result in a substantial lessening of competition, compared to the counterfactual scenario where Ulster Bank would exit the market and the target assets would be bought by an alternative purchaser, the Arthur Cox and the Compass Lexecon teams fully addressed the CCPC’s concerns.
The Compass Lexecon team was led by Lorenzo Coppi and included Cecilia Nardini, Angelos Stenimachitis, Valentina Bianchi Vimercati, Manuel Frewer and Shantanu Sampath. Compass Lexecon worked alongside Richard Ryan, Simon Breen, Matthew Flanagan and Edel O’Connel from Arthur Cox and PTSB’s in-house counsel team.