EU clears Cargotec-Konecranes merger

The European Commission has approved the proposed merger between Finnish engineering majors Cargotec and Konecranes.

The approval is conditional on the divestiture of certain businesses.

Specifically, in the rubber-tired gantry cranes, and straddle and shuttle carriers markets, Cargotec committed to divest its full cranes and straddle/shuttle carrier business, including a manufacturing plant in Poland and a licence for use of Cargotec’s Kalmar brand for the divested product categories.

In the mobile equipment markets, including for mobile equipment spreaders, Konecranes committed to divest its business for the manufacturing and commercialisation of reach stackers, full container handlers, empty container handlers, as well as forklift trucks. This includes manufacturing plants in Sweden and China, and contracts with distributors.

These commitments are said to fully address the competition concerns identified by the commission.

“Cargotec and Konecranes are two global leaders of container and cargo handling equipment. Port terminal operators, logistics companies and a wide range of industrial players in Europe depend on this equipment to lift and carry containers and heavy loads,” Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President, in charge of competition policy, said.

“In the current container shipping industry landscape, we needed to make sure that this merger would not harm the supply chains by further price increases. Following the remedies offered by the two companies, customers in Europe will continue to have sufficient choice of port equipment and will continue benefitting from competitive prices and a great choice of technology.”

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Today’s decision follows an in-depth investigation into the proposed merger of Cargotec and Konecranes. The two companies are the largest European and amongst the leading global manufacturers of container and cargo handling equipment, as well as providers of terminal automation solutions.

The completion of the merger remains subject to further feedback and approvals from various other competition authorities, among others the Department of Justice of the United States and the Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom. These authorities continue to review the merger.

In October 2021, the merger plan faced a hurdle in Australia after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) outlined preliminary competition concerns in relation to the proposed merger.

On 24 February 2022, the ACCC said it is seeking views on “court enforceable undertakings” proposed by each of Cargotec and Konecranes in relation to their merger. The ACCC is working closely with regulators in other countries who are also considering the merger.