December 15, 2016 / 7:47 AM / 7 months ago

UK's competition watchdog raises concerns over Menzies-BBA deal

2 Min Read

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Britain's competition watchdog raised objections against UK airport services and logistics group John Menzies' acquisition of some of peer BBA Aviation's operations, saying the deal could lessen competition in the market.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that since Menzies and ASIG, BBA's ground handling and fuelling unit, were close competitors at Aberdeen airport, a merger of the two businesses could leave Swiss air cargo handler Swissport as the only credible bidder for airlines located there.

Menzies had in September agreed to buy BBA's ASIG in a deal that was expected to make it the world's largest interplane fueller, doubling its existing North American operations and adding significant scale at major international gateways, including London's Heathrow airport.

The Scottish firm has been under pressure to revamp its business, as a string of warnings and the departure of top executives attracted criticism from three investors who have advocated separating its aviation services and printed media distribution units.

UK's CMA said on Thursday it would consider whether to accept an undertaking over the deal, without giving any further details.

Menzies said separately it would consider its position with regard to its operations at Aberdeen airport and respond to the CMA accordingly. (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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