Hitachi’s ambitious €1.7 billion ($1.78 billion) acquisition of Thales SA’s rail-signal business has passed a significant regulatory hurdle, gaining approval from the United Kingdom’s competition watchdog. This clearance comes after Hitachi made a strategic move to divest portions of its European unit to alleviate concerns about market competition, reported Bloomberg.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its decision on Wednesday, stating that Hitachi’s commitment to sell its existing mainline signaling business in the UK, France, and Germany effectively addressed prior apprehensions regarding the deal’s potential anti-competitive impact.
This development marks a crucial step forward in the ongoing merger between the two global conglomerates. However, it is important to note that the European Union is concurrently scrutinizing the merger, with the European Commission setting a deadline of November 6 for its review of Hitachi’s acquisition of Thales.
In a bid to navigate the regulatory process smoothly, Hitachi and Thales submitted unspecified commitments to the authorities while re-notifying the deal for approval on September 14. These commitments are currently under review, as the European Commission evaluates the merger’s implications on the rail-signal industry within the EU.