CMA stalls Copart’s acquisition of Hills

The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) is seeking reassurance about how Copart’s proposed acquisition of Hills Motor will impact the salvage market in the UK before deciding whether to approve the deal.

Its Phase 1 investigation concluded that the companies are close competitors in the vehicle salvage market as they both compete for national contracts – sometimes the same contracts. As such, it has expressed concern that the transaction could lead to a loss of competition in the supply of salvage services and salvage vehicles.

Sorcha O’Carroll, Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA, said, “It is important that salvage and green parts services remain competitive so that the many businesses in the UK that rely on them benefit from lower prices and higher quality services.

“Our investigation showed that Copart’s purchase of Hills Motors takes out an important player in the vehicle salvage services industry and that few competitors would be left in the market. The transaction could also make it more difficult for green parts suppliers to purchase the vehicles they need, which would reduce competition in that market.

“We will move to an in-depth investigation unless the companies can address our concerns.”

Jane Pocock, CEO, Copart UK and Ireland, said, “We acknowledge that the CMA is seeking further details on our acquisition of Hills Motors. We recognise the need for the CMA to understand our approach in more depth given the importance to our customers and the market.

“Hills will continue to bid and buy on the Copart auction platform in the normal way and continue to provide the successful green parts service they have established.

“We look forward to participating fully in the process and demonstrating that this transaction will provide another pro-competitive solution to the market. We remain totally committed to giving our customers the depth and breadth of service they ask of Copart and are confident of a positive outcome.”


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