Berendsen Ireland’s Takeover of Kings Laundry cleared

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) – an independent statutory body that enforces competition and consumer protection law in Ireland – has recently cleared the takeover of Kings Laundry by Berendsen Ireland, subject to several legally binding commitments to ensure competitiveness continues. Berendsen is owned by French laundry services multinational Elis SA. Kings Laundry specialises in linen hire to hotels and hospitals and was established by Robert McGovern in 2000.

The two companies are two of the three main providers of flat linen rental and maintenance services to healthcare customers in Ireland. The CCPC stalled the purchase while it investigated the likely effects on competition. The investigation identified concerns specifically in relation to the likely impact on prices and quality of services due to the reduction in the number of suppliers available to current and future customers in the healthcare market.

Berendsen submitted legally binding commitments to address the Commission’s competition concerns. These require that a set of contracts with healthcare customers serviced by Berendsen prior to the takeover would be sold to another supplier – approved by the CCPC – to ensure sufficient competition remains in the healthcare market.