The country’s peak competition watchdog organisation has brought a proposed £300 million takeover deal of Hillarys to a grinding halt.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an initial enforcement order into the acquisition of the blinds and curtains retailer by Netherlands-based Hunter Douglas amid potential concerns over the deal.
The move means Hunter Douglas will have to keep the two businesses separate until the CMA completes its initial investigations.
The Dutch company, which was founded in 1919 and is known for inventing the aluminium venetian blind in 1946, first announced it was acquiring Hillarys in May.
It’s not the first time Hunter Douglas has been probed by UK authorities.
READ MORE: Hillarys Blinds sold for £300 million
In 2010, after it acquired two rival blind firms – Denmark’s Faber and Germany’s Benthin – the Office of Fair Trading investigated the impact of that deal on the UK market after complaints were raised.
It later cleared the acquisition.
Meanwhile, Hillarys employs more than 1350 people across three manufacturing sites – two in Nottingham and one in Washington, Tyne and Wear – while it also has a network of 1000 self-employed advisers.
Hillarys was founded by Tony Hillary in 1971, first as a made-to-measure blind firm before expanding into curtains, shutters, awnings and more recently carpets and flooring.