Gardner Aerospace merger halted as Business Secretary intervenes

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Andrea Leadsom

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has responded to the proposed merger of Impcross and Derby’s Gardner Aerospace.

On 5 December 2019, the Secretary of State issued a public interest intervention notice, confirming that she is intervening in the merger on national security grounds. In reaching this decision, she considered representations received from the Secretary of State for Defence.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will prepare a report on the jurisdictional, competition and national security aspects of the proposed transaction. The CMA has until midnight on 2 March 2020 to complete and submit this report to the Secretary of State.

An order has also been brought into force to prevent the parties taking any actions that might raise national security concerns. The order prevents the completion of the transaction and the transfer of material or information between the parties.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The Enterprise Act provides the government with the power to intervene in, and, if necessary, block mergers in order to protect national security.

“I will not hesitate to use my powers to protect national security, if it is appropriate to do so.

“Following careful consideration, I have issued an intervention notice to the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the national security concerns and competition aspects in this case.

“The CMA will now investigate and carry out a review of the national security implications of the transaction. They must report back to me by 2 March 2020.

“Additionally, I have placed an Order on the companies while the transaction is being investigated to prevent them taking actions which might raise national security concerns. Beyond what is needed to protect national security, I will ensure that this does not impede the companies when acting in the normal course of business.”