§ Mrs. Dunwoody
asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection when she expects to publish the report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the proposed acquisition by Davy International Limited of the British Rollmakers Corporation Limited.
Mr. Alan Williams
The report will be published on 10th April.
The commission considered under a number of heads, including production resources, pricing, customer interests, manpower, balance of payments, employment, research and development and future technological performance, the effects which the proposed merger might have on competition in the United Kingdom rollmaking industry and on its efficiency and performance; and the extent to which the merger would help to increase Davy's export earnings from contract engineering.415W
The commission's view was that the merger would have substantial disadvantages for the future of the United Kingdom rollmaking industry. It recognised that the merger would help to increase Davy's export earnings from contract engineering by expanding its assets base but considered that this expansion could be achieved in other ways. The commission therefore concluded that a merger of the two companies could be expected to operate against the public interest; and it recommended that the merger should not be permitted. The commission also took the view that it was undesirable that Davy International should continue to have a substantial shareholding in the British Rollmakers Corporation Limited.
I accept the commission's conclusions and I am asking the Director General of Fair Trading to discuss the implementation of the report with the companies concerned.