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Horizon/Westfalia and Brink withdraw from merger

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Staff Writer | June 23, 2018
Horizon Global Corporation
Merger   Horizon is an American manufacturer of towbars

On 18 June 2018 Horizon Global Corporation, USA, and Brink International B.V., Netherlands, withdrew their merger notification at the Bundeskartellamt.

Horizon is an American manufacturer of towbars and other equipment for cars and light utility vehicles.

In Europe the company is mainly active via its subsidiary Westfalia-Automotive GmbH. Brink also produces and sells towbars for cars and light utility vehicles. The buyers of towbars are motor vehicle manufacturers, wholesalers of automotive components and auto- repair chains.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Horizon/Westfalia is already the market leader for towbars.

"After the acquisition of Brink, the third largest supplier, there would only have been one major competitor left on the markets affected in addition to the merged company.

"The merger would have therefore led to significant disadvantages for customers. We therefore informed the parties in writing of our concerns and announced that we were considering prohibiting the merger project."

The proposed merger was notified to the Bundeskartellamt on 8 January 2018. During the proceeding the Bundeskartellamt carried out extensive market surveys among customers and competitors of the companies involved.

The authority found that after its merger with Brink, Horizon/Westfalia would have gained a scope of action which would not be sufficiently controlled by competition.

The indicators which support this assessment were, inter alia, market shares on the markets affected of more than 50%, few alternatives of supply and a clear technological lead of the merged party, in particular over smaller competitors.

Furthermore, the merger would have eliminated Brink as a close competitor of Horizon/Westfalia.

On 17 May 2018 the Bundeskartellamt therefore issued a statement of objections.

The companies ultimately withdrew their notification on 18 June 2018 as they do not intend to pursue the merger project further.

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