IGas/Dart merger goes ahead before competition review concludes

IGas announced today it is going ahead with its acquisition of Dart Energy before the conclusion of an investigation by the UK Competition and Mergers Authority (CMA).

In a statement, IGas and Dart said the companies had “now formally waived the CMA Condition” to the deal. They are still seeking approval by the Supreme Court of Queensland on Tuesday (30th September).

If the court approves, the statement said Dart Energy shares would be suspended on the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday 1st October. New IGas shares would be admitted to trading on Friday 17th October.

The CMA is carrying out what is known as a Phase 1 review to establish whether the acquisition would result in reduced competition in UK markets for goods or services. A consultation period ended earlier this month. A spokesperson for the CMA said: “We haven’t yet made a decision on this merger. We are required to do this by 20th October”.

The spokesperson said the UK merger regime is voluntary so companies were entitled to complete a transaction during the course of a phase 1 review.

The Phase 1 investigation could conclude either to launch a fuller, Phase 2 investigation or to approve the deal. If the CMA decided there should be a Phase 2 investigation and this ruled against the acquisition, the companies would be required to dismantle the deal.

The progress of the CMA review into the IGas/Dart merger can be followed here. We asked IGas to comment on the reason for the waiver but no one was available.

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