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ACM conditionally clears acquisition of mortuary service provider Yarden by rival DELA

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has conditionally cleared the acquisition of mortuary service provider and insurer Yarden by rival provider DELA. However, Yarden and Dela will have to sell seven crematories and two funeral homes to a third party. In that way, sufficient alternatives will remain in the mortuary service sector.

DELA and Yarden are both active in the mortuary service sector. Both of them operate crematories, cemeteries, and morgues, and they also have funeral insurances. Yarden’s financial situation has been precarious for some time now. The acquisition will offer certainty to the policyholders of Yarden’s funeral insurances.

What were ACM’s conclusions?

Both DELA and Yarden are big names in the mortuary service sector. Following an extensive investigation, ACM has established that the acquisition will not result in any problems in the market for funeral insurances. In nine regions however, the acquisition would result in too few alternative funeral homes or crematories to choose from. As a result thereof, prices could go up or quality could be reduced. That is why ACM has set the condition that Yarden’s crematories in the cities of Beuningen, Heerlen, Groningen, Schagen, Utrecht and Venlo, as well as DELA’s crematory in the city of Spijkenisse must be sold to a third party. In addition, two of Yarden’s funeral homes in the cities of Veldhoven and Venray must be sold, too. ACM will have to approve the buyers of these locations. By selling these locations, sufficient competition will remain in the market, and individuals will be able to choose a mortuary service provider that meets their needs.

ACM’s concentration control: mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures

With any merger or acquisition, there is the question of whether sufficient competition will remain on that market, right after the transaction as well as in the future. Competition ensures that products are of high quality and that they are offered on the market at competitive prices. Competition also promotes innovation. That is why ACM decides in advance whether or not companies are allowed to merge or acquire another company. ACM assesses whether the markets involved will continue to work well for people and businesses, now and in the future.

More in this case

26-07-2021 ACM clears acquisition of Yarden by DELA (final notification) (in Dutch)
20-05-2021 DELA wishes to acquire Yarden (concentration notification) (in Dutch)