UK Regulator: Wood Group Takeover Of Amec Could Hurt Competition



Reuters

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Britain's market regulator said on Wednesday a takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler by oilfield services firm Wood Group could hurt competition.

Wood Group agreed to buy smaller rival Amec Foster Wheeler for 2.2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) in March.

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that the merger could lead to competition concerns in the supply of engineering and construction services and operation and maintenance services on the UK continental shelf.

Wood Group has until August 9 to formalise its proposals for addressing concerns about the deal or it will be referred for an in-depth probe, the CMA said. (http://bit.ly/2uVrZra)

Wood Group said that when the deal was announced that it had proposed to the CMA a divestment of a majority of Amec Foster Wheeler's upstream oil and gas assets and operations in the UK.

Wood Group said on Wednesday that it would formally submit the proposal to the CMA and both companies believe that this would be sufficient to address CMA's competition concerns and obtain clearance for the merger.

However, the undertakings excluded Amec's Aberdeen-based services unit Qedi. The assets identified in the undertakings generated 42 million pounds in core earnings on revenue of about 740 million pounds in 2016.

Separately, the UK's Serious Fraud Office said last month it had launched a bribery investigation of Amec.

Shares in Wood Group were down 0.57 percent and Amec Foster was off 0.75 percent as of 1242 GMT.

(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)



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