Kingspan accused by EU of providing misleading information during Trimo deal

Kingspan Accused By Eu Of Providing Misleading Information During Trimo Deal
The company could face a fine up to 1 per cent of its annual worldwide turnover if found guilty of breaching EU merger rules. Photo: PA Images
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Updated: 5.05pm

EU antitrust regulators have accused Irish insulation maker Kingspan of providing incorrect and misleading information during its proposed acquisition of Slovenian rival Trimo in 2021, putting it at risk of a hefty fine.


The European Commission, which has in recent years handed out hefty fines to companies for similar offences, said it had sent a statement of objections, in effect a charge sheet, setting out its concerns to Kingspan.

"The Commission takes the preliminary view that Kingspan intentionally, or negligently, provided incorrect, incomplete and misleading information with respect to basic facts related to Kingspan's internal organisation," the EU competition enforcer said in a statement.

It said incorrect and incomplete information was also provided on the scope of the relevant product and geographic market, the existence of barriers to entry and expansion, the importance of innovation and the closeness of competition between Kingspan and Trimo and their competitors.

Kingspan said the Trimo deal was not representative of its long and productive relationship with the Commission.


"This Trimo application was unusual and uniquely onerous given both the level of information sought and the fact that the process occurred during COVID," the company said in an email.

"While we do not agree with the Commission's preliminary conclusions in the Trimo case, we will of course reflect carefully on them and work with our legal advisers in formulating our response, and we look forward to continued positive co-operation with the Commission into the future."

Kingspan can argue its case in a written response to the EU accusations and also at a closed-door hearing in front of senior Commission and national competition officials.

Since the Trimo deal, Kingspan has secured EU antitrust approval for four other acquisitions.

The company, which subsequently abandoned the Trimo deal in the face of an EU veto, could face a fine up to 1 per cent of its annual worldwide turnover if found guilty of breaching EU merger rules.


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