Competition regulator invites comments on proposed Sembmarine, Keppel O&M merger

SINGAPORE (BUSINESS TIMES) – The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is seeking public comment on the proposed merger of Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine) and Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M).

The CCCS said Tuesday (Aug. 2) that it was assessing whether the two companies’ proposed merger would violate Section 54 of the Competition Act, which prohibits mergers that have resulted or are expected to result. they result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market. in Singapore.

The CCCS said it accepted a joint notification on July 29 from both parties for a decision on the proposed move.

Sembmarine and Keppel O&M provide shipbuilding, conversion and ship repair services at their Singapore shipyards, with a particular focus on vessels and structures for the offshore, marine and energy industries.

CCCS noted that the parties have stated that the proposed combination will not result in a substantial lessening of competition due to competitive bidding processes for the purchase and repair of commercial vessels, strong competition from players existing global players or new entrants, and the presence of large and sophisticated buyers with considerable buying power.

Keppel Corp – which wholly owns Keppel O&M – and Sembmarine announced details of the proposed merger in April this year. It involves the creation of a new holding company, which will combine the activities of Keppel O&M and Sembmarine through separate arrangements.

Following the proposed move, Temasek Holdings will be the largest shareholder of the combined entity with a 33.5% stake. The combined entity will also be listed on the parent board of the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The public can submit comments to CCCS on the proposed combination at this website. The closing date for submissions is August 15 at 5 p.m.

Shares of Sembmarine rose 1.8% on Tuesday to close at 11.2 cents, while shares of Keppel Corp closed unchanged at $6.96, ahead of the announcement.

Valerie J. Wallis