The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the proposed acquisition of joint control over Exception Group Limited of the UK by The Goldman Sachs Group of the USA and TPG Lundy, ultimately controlled by the TPG Group based in the USA.
Exception manufactures and supplies printed circuit boards ("PCBs") and provides electronics manufacturing services. Goldman Sachs provides financial services as a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The TPG Group is a global private investment firm. TPG Lundy, based in the Cayman Islands, is a newly formed investment vehicle.
The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns. First, none of the companies controlled by Goldman Sachs or the TPG Group is active in the same markets as Exception. Second, although the TPG Group company Isola manufactures copper clad glass fibre laminates, which are used in the production of PCBs, Exception's presence on the PCB markets is limited and both Exception and Isola will continue to face several strong competitors after the transaction. Moreover, Exception and Isola are both jointly controlled by the TPG Group and different shareholders. These co-controlling parent companies of Exception and Isola would not have any incentive to favour another TPG Group company.
In January, Exception sold its PCB operations to Fastprint out of Shenzhen, China.