NHS dental merger confirmed by OFT

A large number of competition law solicitors from several London-based and international firms have provided advice in a proposed merger of NHS dental services, which has now been approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The merger, which was first agreed almost exactly a year ago, required external supervision because of the danger it had of falling foul of strict competition regulations.

Some of the largest providers of dental services in the country were involved in the process, which was referred to the OFT after initially being heard by the European Commission.

Those representing the OFT advised the department that any competition concerns would be satisfactorily addressed by Palamon Capital Partners (who have acquired the Associated Dental Practices and Integrated Dental Holdings groups) agreeing to sell off at least 11 of its new NHS sites in areas where this was a potential issue.

Now this has been settled, the OFT has confirmed that the deal will not be sent to the Competition Commission.

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