A federal judge has granted the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request for a preliminary injunction to block a proposed merger, which the two maritime water treatment chemical companies have now abandoned.
The FTC issued an administrative complaint charging that Wilhelmsen Maritime Services’ proposed US$400 million acquisition of Drew Marine Group would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition in an important market for marine water treatment chemicals and services used by global fleets.
Marine water treatment chemicals and services are used by tankers, container ships, bulk carriers, cruise ships, and military support vessels to maintain critical on-board equipment. The FTC alleges that if consummated, the merger would result in a company controlling at least 60% of the global marine water treatment chemical and service market, leaving only inferior alternatives for global fleets.
The FTC also authorized staff to seek, in federal court, a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prevent the parties from consummating the merger, and to maintain the status quo pending the administrative proceeding.