The Office of Fair Trading has decided not to refer the merger of rival builders merchants Jewson and Build Center to the Competition Commission, on the undertaking that Jewson parent Saint Gobain sells off 23 branches.
For sale are the Build Center branches at: Aberystwyth, Penzance, St Ives, Stranraer, Ashford (Kent), Bedford, Faversham, Helston, Ashford (Surrey/Staines), Dumfries, Holyhead, Llandrindod Wells / Builth Wells, Tunbridge Wells, Devizes, Irvine, Maidstone, St Neots.
Also for sale are the Jewson branches in Galashiels, Hastings, Northiam/Hastings, Sandown and Epsom.
Under the terms of the undertakings, the OFT must approve purchasers before they can buy any of the stores, in order to make sure that they are capable of providing sufficient competition to the merged Jewson and Build Center business and other builders merchants in the area.
Ali Nikpay, senior director at the OFT and decision maker in this case, said: “The OFT was concerned that builders and other tradesmen would see an increase in prices for building materials as a result of this merger in a number of local areas. We are satisfied that the divestments will achieve this.”