The European Commission has said it has taken note of a decision by building materials group Kingspan and the parent company of Slovenian firm Trimo to terminate a planned deal that would have seen Kingspan buy Trimo.

A year ago the Commission said it was opening an in-depth investigation into the proposed transaction.

The Commission was worried that if the deal were to go ahead, it would negatively affect competition for mineral fibre sandwich panels in Czechia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK.

However, the Commission has now said that because it has been informed by both parties that the proposed deal has been abandoned, its investigation has come to an end.

"When we opened our in-depth investigation, we had concerns that the proposed transaction would negatively affect competition in certain building materials markets, leading to higher prices, reduced quality or less choice for customers," said Commission Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager.

"Our preliminary findings set out in our Statement of Objections addressed to Kingspan indicated that indeed the merger was likely to lead to price increases for mineral fibre sandwich panels in several national markets, to the detriment of customers that rely on this material for their activities."

"Mineral fibre sandwich panels are used in the construction industry to insulate and make more energy efficient industrial and commercial buildings."

"We must therefore ensure that these products remain available to customers at affordable prices."

In a statement to RTÉ News, Kingspan confirmed that it has withdrawn from the process to acquire Trimo.

"We are fully committed to developing our market position in energy saving and sustainable construction products, contributing to a more sustainable built environment, enhancing energy security, and supporting the EU Green Deal," the company added.

In January it was reported that the deal had come apart because the vendor, European Architectural Systems, had grown frustrated with the process due to the difficulty in securing competition approval from the European Commission.

At the time Kingspan said it remained committed to completing the acquisition.

However, in March Belgian company Recticel announced that it was buying Trimo, confirming indirectly that the Kingspan deal was officially off.

Kingspan first announced in August of 2020 that it planned to purchase Trimo.

Trimo employs around 480 people and had sales last year of €138m.