The Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Zodiac Marine, a business segment of the French company Zodiac S.A. by private investment firms Carlyle Europe Partners II L. P. and Carlyle Europe Partners III L. P. (together Carlyle). After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Zodiac Marine is active worldwide in six business areas: above-ground swimming pools, swimming pool care products, inflatable recreational boats and rafts, inflatable military and professional boats, inflatable safety equipment, and waste water collection and treatment for the marine industry. Carlyle is a global private equity firm and controls, inter alia, Jandy Pool Products, Inc. (Jandy), a US based company active in pool and spa products, mainly in the US.

The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that the horizontal overlaps between the activities of Zodiac Marine and Carlyle were very limited as Jandy has limited sales in Europe. The Commission's examination also showed that, for the products concerned, in particular salt water chlorinators and pool heating equipment, the combined entity would continue to face effective competition from other suppliers active in the sector. [18 September 07]