Croatia’s Competition Watchdog Approves Austria’s Pipelife Acquisition

Croatia’s market competition agency, AZTN, said on Thursday it has approved a proposed acquisition of local piping solutions provider Vargon by Austrian manufacturer of piping solutions Pipelife, a unit of Wienerberger.

This concentration will have an effect on the production of plastic pipes and fittings and the wholesale of plastic pipes and fittings in Croatia, in Slovenia and northern Italy, as well as in Croatia’s non-EU neighbours, AZTN said in a press release.

“These companies do not operate in the same product market, since Pipelife does not have production facilities in the defined relevant market for the production of pipes and fittings, whereas there will be a horizontal overlap in the wholesale of plastic pipes and fittings, given that both companies are present on that market,” it added.

In June, Austrian building materials manufacturer Wienerberger said it has signed a deal to acquire Vargon for an undisclosed sum and the closing of the transaction will take place in 2022, subject to necessary antitrust approvals and the fulfillment of other conditions precedent typical for such transactions. Pipelife is fully owned by Wienerberger.

Operating from its production site near the northern Croatian Adriatic port of Rijeka, the family business generated revenues of 24.4 million euro ($24 million) in 2021.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.