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German Regulator Clears Pool Equipment Merger

 |  June 26, 2023

The merger between Fluidra and Meranus has been approved by the Bundeskartellamt after a thorough investigation. Fluidra is a multinational group that is publicly traded in Spain and specializes in developing, producing, and selling products and services for private and commercial swimming pools through its subsidiaries. Meanwhile, Meranus is primarily involved in the distribution of swimming pool equipment in Germany, which results in some overlap with Fluidra’s operations.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt said “Although there were some competition concerns, we had to clear the acquisition. We conducted an in-depth examination of both the wholesale market for swimming pool equipment and the market for the manufacturing and selling of robotic pool cleaners for private pools. Fluidra is the world’s number two brand manufacturer of such cleaners after market leader Maytronics. By acquiring Meranus, it gains a wholesaler that has a strong position in Germany, especially with regard to private-label robotic cleaners. Our investigations have shown that the total domestic sales volume on the market in question is below the statutory threshold value referred to as ‘minor market threshold’. German merger provisions do not allow the prohibition of concentrations on markets below this threshold.”

The Bundeskartellamt examined markets for pool equipment for the first time. Over 200 requests for information were sent out during the examination. The merger of Fluidra and Meranus overlaps in the German wholesale market for private pool equipment, but their joint market share is below the threshold for market dominance. There are also many competitors in the wholesale market of varying sizes. Therefore, the merger does not raise any competition concerns in this distribution chain.