Germany: European Commission Approves Boston Holding Purchase of Borkum Riffgrund I

Germany: European Commission Approves Boston Holding Purchase of Borkum Riffgrund I

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the North Sea wind farm Borkum Riffgrund I of Germany by DONG Energy Borkum Riffgrund of Germany and Boston Holding of Denmark. The Commission found that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because it will not alter the market structure.

The operation consists of Boston Holding taking a joint controlling interest in an existing wind farm project, Borkum Riffgrund I, which is currently solely controlled by Dong Energy, which also controls DONG Energy Borkum Riffgrund.

Boston Holding has no other interests in any of the markets affected by the operation where Dong Energy is active. These markets are, on the one hand, the generation and wholesale supply of electricity, and, on the other hand,, the development, construction and operation of wind farms and the retail supply of electricity, both in Germany. As a result, the proposed operation will not change the competitive situation.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 29 March 2012.

Companies and products

DONG Energy Borkum Riffgrund A/S GmbH & Co oHG is controlled by DONG Energy A/S of Denmark. DONG Energy is mainly active in Northern Europe in the exploration and production of natural gas and oil, power generation and energy sale.

KIRKBI Invest A/S, which controls Boston Holding, develops play and teaching materials for children (Lego) and operates theme parks William Demant Invest, which controls KIRKBI jointly with the Kristiansen family, supplies products and equipment that assist individuals in hearing and communication as well as non-invasive orthopaedics, assisted reproductive technology solutions and investment in commercial real estate. Borkum Riffgrund I will own, operate and maintain an offshore wind farm located in the North Sea.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).


Offshore WIND staff, May 14, 2012; Image: DONG