Whirlpool Secures CMA Provisional Go-Ahead for Arcelik JV

February 9, 2024

Cleary Gottlieb is advising Whirlpool Corporation (Whirlpool) on antitrust-related aspects of the combination of its and Arçelik’s European, Middle Eastern, and African major domestic appliance businesses.

U.S.-based Whirlpool and Arçelik, which is controlled by the Turkish industrial conglomerate Koç Holding, both manufacture a broad range of major domestic appliances. The transaction was announced in January 2023 and is expected to close in April 2024.

On February 8, 2024, in a significant decision that followed a lengthy Phase 2 review, the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns. The CMA’s decision follows the October 2023 approval of the transaction by the European Commission (EC) on which Cleary also advised. The CMA confirmed the EC’s determination that the transaction raises no competition concerns given the strength of rivals, the likelihood of entry and expansion from Chinese and other suppliers, the considerable changes in the competitive landscape over the past decade, and a detailed assessment of the counterfactual, where it found that Whirlpool’s position would likely decline absent the transaction.

Cleary’s UK competition team has quickly established itself as one of the leading practices in London. It has worked on many of the most significant mergers to have been reviewed by the CMA in recent years, including Veolia/Suez, Meta/Giphy, Hitachi/Thales, Broadcom/VMware, Microsoft/Activision Blizzard, Sika/MBCC, and Sony Music Entertainment/AWAL, representing clients in one-third of the cases to have been unconditionally approved by the CMA at Phase 2 over the past three years.