The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has conducted a phase 1 investigation into the completed purchase of Dental Partners Group Limited (Dental Partners) by Riviera Bidco Limited (Riviera) – owner of the existing dental practice operator Rodericks Dental Limited (Rodericks).
The survey looked at the potential impact of the merger in areas where the two companies currently offer NHS or private dental care. Although sufficient competition will remain after the merger in most cases, the CMA found that the merger would raise competition concerns in the supply of general NHS dental treatment, such as examinations and fillings, in areas of Doncaster and Alfreton.
Removing Dental Partners as an independent competitor could reduce patient choice in these two areas, where the availability of NHS dental appointments is already limited.
Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the companies agreed that the merger would raise concerns in these 2 areas and asked the AMC to move directly into a discussion of possible solutions to address these concerns.
Riviera now has 5 working days to formally present proposals to the CMA to address the competition concerns identified. The CMA would then have an additional 5 working days to determine whether to accept them in principle instead of referring the matter to a Phase 2 investigation.
Sorcha O’Carroll, Senior Director of Mergers at CMA, said:
Residents of parts of Doncaster and Alfreton rely on access to quality NHS dental care when needed – we are reviewing this arrangement to ensure this can continue.
It is now up to the affected companies to address our concerns, avoid a loss of competition in these areas and resolve any need for further investigation.
For more information, please see the Riviera Bidco Limited / Dental Partners Group Limited case page.
Notes to Editors
Further information on the CMA’s expedited process can be found in Section 7 of Mergers: Guidance on the CMA’s jurisdiction and procedure.
The CMA is, in most cases, required to issue a Phase 1 decision within 40 business days. The merging parties are required to formally propose proposed solutions (commitments in lieu (UIL)) within 5 working days of receipt of the CMA’s Phase 1 decision and the CMA then decides, within 10 days following the phase 1 decision, whether or not to provisionally accept the UILs offered. The CMA then has 50 working days (subject to an extension of up to 40 working days) to consider whether it is ultimately appropriate to accept these appeals.
The CMA’s concerns relate to the provision of NHS treatment by the parties in parts of Doncaster, Yorkshire and Alfreton, Derbyshire. The cost of treatment via these appointments is strictly regulated by the NHS – so patients will pay the same price if they are able to seek treatment.
All journalists’ inquiries should be directed to the CMA Press Office by email at [email protected] or by telephone on 020 3738 6460.
All inquiries from the general public should be directed to the CMA’s General Inquiries team at [email protected] or 020 3738 6000.