The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is looking at HPI’s takeover of Carweb and appears to have put a block on the deal until it has concluded its research.
An ‘initial undertakings’ document on the OFT website reveals that, except with the prior written consent of the OFT, each of the parent companies and HPI undertake that they will not take any action which might:
a) Lead to any integration of the HPI business with all or any part of the Carweb business
b) Transfer the ownership or control of the HPI business or the Carweb business
It goes on to say that each of the parent companies and HPI must procure that: “The Carweb business is carried on separately and under a separate brand identity.”
Daniel Burgess, HPI managing director, told AM: “We confirm that OFT is considering whether it has jurisdiction to review our acquisition of CarWeb.
“We are committed to the CarWeb acquisition and we intend to cooperate with OFT's inquiry."
The news will come as blow to Solera’s founder and chief executive officer, Tony Aquila, who said in December: “Carweb complements and further strengthens our Audatex and HPI platforms in the UK.”