Parker Pen deal cleared

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The Independent Online
GILLETTE'S proposed acquisition of Parker Pen was given the go-ahead yesterday by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, writes Tom Stevenson. Its report said the merger of Parker with Gillette's two pen brands, Waterman and Paper Mate, would not affect competition.

The MMC report expressed concern about pen suppliers deploying their own staff in shops without identifying them as such. Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, warned that the Office of Fair Trading would be investigating the practice.

Waterman and Paper Mate would add about 7 per cent to Parker's 50 per cent share of the UK market for refillable pens, according to the MMC. It decided that the bargaining power of the large retailers would constrain any attempt to exploit the position.

The pounds 285m deal will make multi-millionaires of Parker's management, who invested pounds 300,000 in a pounds 35m management buyout seven years ago.

Thirty top executives will share about pounds 90m.