ADVISING ON

COMPETITION POLICY

Mergers that affect the European Union above certain thresholds require EU approvals. This process is generally a legal process combined with an economic analysis. EPPA provides two types of merger services:

 

  • Providing the required economic studies on potential unilateral effects of the merger;

  • Political assistance for mergers that have complexities beyond the purely economic aspects of the transaction.

 

The qualified economists of EPPA and their academic networks provide the required studies to show the potential unilateral effects (or lack thereof). These documents are now standard requirements during any merger process that involves any possible sort of concentration of economic power. EPPA's rates are very competitive in the market and have the added advantage that the economic study can take into account the political liabilities involved in the merger.

Most EU mergers do not involve politically controversial decisions. However an increasing number of Member States use political or downright legislative pressure to wrest control over mergers they consider sensitive. EPPA can help merging parties navigate the complexities of European policy-makers’ concerns. Often times they are unrelated to the economic and business drivers of the merger itself but require merging parties to clarify other issues. This requires tact, sensitivity and a willingness to be a partner with authorities in the process. Such issues are often neglected by lawyers involved in the mergers since they neither have the time nor inclination to fully address them.

DG Competition was the first directorate to appoint a chief economist. The economic analysis is now part and parcel of all competition decisions. Failing to submit a good economist document is an invitation for a poor decision.

EPPA has a unique record in one specific area of merger decisions: hostile take-over defence situations. Hostile take-overs are rare in Europe, rarer even than decisions with political implications. EPPA has been involved in several cases of hostile takeover defense and has a 100% success rate in defeating unwanted advances by one company on another. Hostile take-overs are much more than just a legal or economic analysis of the case as it requires a firm commitment by the target to stick to its belief that a stand-alone scenario is more beneficial to shareholders than the take-over.

Hostile take-overs are rare and special situations. Experience and fast strategic insight is essential for a successful defense.

EPPA is unique in having experience of multiple hostile take-over situations and having familiarity with all the ways to discourage the ardours of unwanted corporate suitors. Being neither a financial services or PR company, EPPA brings much more to the target of a hostile bid than the standard companies that are normally retained.

Other Services:

EPPA SA

Place du Luxembourg 2  |  Luxemburgplein 2

1050 Brussels

Belgium

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T +32 2 735 82 30

F +32 2 735 44 12

brussels@eppa.com

EPPA SA is an independent organisation based in Brussels, Belgium and not affiliated in any manner to any other entity with a similar name in Belgium or in any other country.

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