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UK regulator opens inquiry into DVB-MUFG merger

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering a probe into whether the merger between MUFG and DVB Bank’s aviation arm could impact competition for aircraft finance.

MUFG announced its intention to acquire DVB Bank’s aviation division, including its €5.6 billion ($6.2 billion) lending portfolio and personnel, on 1 March.

“The CMA is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services,” it says in a 19 August statement.

The regulator informed the two banks it was beginning an inquiry on 16 August. Invitations to comment close on 3 September.

"MUFG decided to formally apply [for approval] even though it wasn't required to do so in the UK, and inquiries are under way as a matter of course," one source close to the deal says.

The authority says it will decide whether to escalate the investigation by 14 October.

MUFG and DVB Bank did not respond to requests for comment immediately.

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