09.04.2019

CMA investigation into Vp

An investigation into the groundforce division of UK rental group Vp - owner of telehandler rental company UK Forks
along with tool hire companies Hire Station and Brandon Hire - has issued a statement regarding the anti competitive pricing related investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority – CMA.

The statement said: “The Competition and Markets Authority - CMA - has announced its provisional findings in relation to an investigation into the supply of groundwork products for hire in the UK.”

“The subject of the provisional findings is suspected anti-competitive conduct as regards the supply of groundworks products in the UK. This is an area of activity for part of the Group's excavation support systems business ('Groundforce'). No other Vp businesses are included in this investigation.”

“Vp is reviewing these provisional findings and will continue to cooperate fully with the CMA. The Group will make further announcements as appropriate.”

Vertikal Comment

Vp has a good record of dealing with the CMA when it comes to acquisition approvals, such as its purchase of Brandon Hire. This is somewhat of a surprise, and potentially damaging reputationally. However it is entirely possible that the ongoing investigation will determine that this was a divisional decision – assuming of course that it confirms any anti competitive practices did occur. In which case the company would be subject to a fine.

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