Remondis can take over waste management company Helene Müntefering-Gockeln
Remondis is part of the Rethmann group and is Germany’s largest waste management company with a large number of operations at several levels of the value-added chain.
Müntefering-Gockeln operates a large container service in the Ruhr area, a commercial waste sorting facility and a large plant for recycling waste wood. Container services collect waste materials from building sites and, in particular, from commercial and industrial customers.
In the Ruhr area Remondis has a very strong market position in the collection of non-hazardous commercial waste (container services) with high market shares.
Furthermore, due to its existing participations and contracts, Remondis has access to a large share of the freely disposable waste incineration capacities whereas the company’s competitors often have difficulties in finding waste incineration plants in the region to burn their waste.
Remondis’ strong position in the collection of non-hazardous commercial waste and its access to the waste incineration plants give it considerable advantages over its competitors.
The investigations have also shown, however, that a large number of smaller container services are still operating in the highly industrial Ruhr area. The proposed acquisition could thus be cleared on the basis of these special regional circumstances.
The Bundeskartellamt also examined whether the new obligation to sort mixed commercial waste which will become effective from 1 January 2019 under the German Commercial Wastes Ordinance (Gewerbeabfallverordnung) could lead to market foreclosure.
As from this date, unsorted mixed commercial waste can no longer be treated in waste incineration plants.
As Remondis has recently already acquired another company in the region that also owns a sorting facility (like the one owned by Müntefering-Gockeln), many market players have expressed their concern that they could be foreclosed from access to sorting facilities.
It has, however, become clear from the investigations that the competitors already have capacities for sorting mixed commercial waste or plan to build such facilities that are large enough to prevent Remondis from foreclosing competitors from sorting services, even after its acquisition of Müntefering-Gockeln.
According to the investigations, sufficient capacities for pre-sorting mixed commercial waste can be expected to become available over the next two years.
As a result of the concentration Remondis will also gain a strong market position in the area of waste wood recycling. This did not lead to a prohibition of the proposed acquisition either as other important players are also active in the market. ■