CCPC clears Orpea’s FirstCare nursing homes deal despite Kildare concerns

French company set to become largest private player in Irish care homes sector

The CCPC ‘identified potential concerns’ about competition in the residential care and nursing home sector in Co Kildare. Photograph: iStock

The CCPC ‘identified potential concerns’ about competition in the residential care and nursing home sector in Co Kildare. Photograph: iStock

 

French care homes company Orpea has been cleared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to acquire six FirstCare nursing homes. The clearance is subject to a binding commitment on Orpea’s part to inform the regulator if it considers buying any additional nursing homes in Co Kildare.

Paris-listed Orpea agreed to buy the FirstCare collection of nursing homes from businessman Mervyn Smith in May in a deal understood to be worth more than €100 million, meaning it will become the largest private player in the sector in the State.

FirstCare’s six nursing homes include three facilities on a campus in Glasnevin in north Dublin, two homes in Co Wicklow and one in Co Kildare.

Extended investigation

After an extended Phase 1 investigation into whether the transaction would result in a substantial lessening of competition for goods or services in the State, the CCPC “identified potential concerns” about competition in the residential care and nursing home sector in Co Kildare.

But it has now accepted a proposal from Orpea that it must notify the CCPC of any further transactions in the county, even if they do not meet the usual mandatory notification threshold.

“The CCPC is of the view that the commitment obtained from Orpea is appropriate and effective in addressing the identified competition concerns,” the regulator said.

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