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Pihlajalinna and Mehiläinen end merger negotiations

The Competition and Consumer Authority had said the merger could impede competition in the Finnish health services market.

Kuvassa on Pihlajalinnan logo.
Pihlajalinna said that it is not committed to any new negotiations with Mehiläinen and plans to focus on its own business. Image: Kimmo Brandt / EPA

Finnish healthcare firms Mehiläinen and Pihlajalinna have announced that they are no longer going ahead with a planned merger between the two firms even if the Market Court gives them a green light.

"Even if the Market Court issued a decision that would have allowed Mehiläinen to accept the tender offer that ended on 20 November 2020, the merger process between the companies will not continue, it has now ended," Pihlajalinna said in a press release on Wednesday.

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV) had earlier proposed that the Market Court prohibit the major merger as it could "significantly impede effective competition in the Finnish health services market."

If the merger happened, only two national healthcare firms would remain on the market — KKV had said there is a danger that the healthcare market would become even more concentrated.

Currently, Mehiläinen, Pihlajalinna and Terveystalo dominate the Finnish healthcare market.

Pihlajalinna said that it is not committed to any new negotiations with Mehiläinen and plans to focus on its own business.

The firms announced the estimated 360 million euros deal last year that would establish the largest health services giant in the Nordics.

The turnover of the new company which would have had 25,000 employees was estimated to be about 1.4 billion euros a year ago.

A case concerning the approval of the merger is still pending in the Market Court and is set to be resolved at the end of this year.

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