Regulator clears Q-Park takeover of rival Park Rite

Competition authority approves deal after tagging conditions on to sale

Car parks operator Q-Park has been given the go ahead to take over its rival Park Rite, after regulators signed off on the deal subject to a number of conditions.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) cleared Q-Park’s purchase of Park Rite parent Tazbell Services Group DAC, the regulator said in a statement.

“Following detailed examination, and having taken into account the commitments given by Q-Park, the CCPC has determined that the proposed acquisition will not substantially lessen competition and, as a result, can be put into effect,” it said.

The takeover creates one of the biggest players in the Irish car parks market. Q-Park has more than 640,000 parking spaces at more than 3,300 commercial parking facilities in Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Denmark. In Ireland the company’s operations include the Setanta, St Stephen’s Green, Grand Canal Square and Dawson Street car parks in the nine facilities it runs in Dublin. It also manages facilities in Wicklow, Cork, Galway and Limerick. Tazbell also provides car-parking management services in addition to on-street parking enforcement and clamping services, managing 50,000 on-street spaces for local authorities, providing toll operations for the M3 and M4 and parking consulting services. Among its business lines it runs Dublin Street Parking Services, which has held the clamping contract for Dublin City Council. It operates in Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny and Offaly. It employs more than 200 staff.


Among the conditions imposed by the CCPC, Tazbell must lease out the top floor of its Galway car park to a competitor, while Q-Park will effectively give up control of one of its Dublin car parks. A CCPC spokeswoman declined to name that car park, citing commercial sensitivity.

The proposed acquisition was originally announced in August last year. The CCPC moved in December to a full investigation to establish if the proposed transaction would lead to a “substantial lessening of competition” in the country.

It set the conditions on the sale after it “identified potential competition concerns relating to the supply of off-street car parking in parts of Dublin city centre and Galway city centre” which could lead to higher prices in parts of both cities.

The regulator will name an independent monitoring trustee to make sure the conditions are fulfilled, while it will publish its full decision within 60 working days.

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan is an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times