CMA believes anticipated purchase of Waterlogic by Culligan could lead to loss of competition in the supply of multifunctional taps
The CMA is investigating the anticipated acquisition by Osmosis Buyer Limited (Culligan) of Firewall Holding S.à. r.l. (Waterlogic).
Culligan is the leading supplier of multifunctional taps to business customers – such as offices – in the UK. Waterlogic (through its Billi brand) is one of Culligan’s main competitors.
Unlike traditional taps, multifunctional taps can provide chilled, hot or boiling and, depending on the model, sparkling water. They offer an easy-to-use solution for businesses, that want to provide drinking water solutions in the workplace that are better for the environment than disposable bottles.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that this merger would leave just three large suppliers of multifunctional taps to business customers in the UK, which could lead to higher prices or lower quality of service.
Sorcha O’Carroll, CMA Senior Director of Mergers, said:
“Multifunctional taps are an increasingly popular option for employers who need to make drinking water readily available to employees and want to reduce waste. By removing a key player that offers this product, this deal could lead to higher costs to businesses and lower quality service.
“If the merging businesses can offer a suitable way to address this issue, then we won’t need to move to a more in-depth investigation.”