O'Melveny's Defense of Graco in Litigation Related to Purchase of Illinois Tool Works Units Noted by Global Competition Review

February 02, 2012 A recent Global Competition Review article about a ruling in favor of Graco in litigation over the company's bid to acquire units of a competitor for US$650 million, reported that O'Melveny Antitrust Practice Group Leader Richard Parker represents Graco.

The February 2, 2012 article, "DC Court Sends FTC Paint Case to Minnesota," stated that Judge Robert Wilkins of the US District Court in Washington, DC,"rejected the FTC’s opinion that it should have the right to file its lawsuit to block Graco’s purchase of part of rival Illinois Tool Works in the venue of its choosing."

The FTC had asked the federal court to block the transaction temporarily pending the outcome of its administrative case opposing the acquisition. In his decision, according to Global Competition Review, Judge Wilkins said the D.C. federal court was not the appropriate venue because it has no ties to the alleged antitrust violation and no relation to the parties or subject matter, and noted that "the majority of the conduct that gave rise to the FTC’s claims took place in the District of Minnesota.”

The legal publication focused on antitrust issues said "Wilkins agreed with arguments from the defence counsel that the lawsuit should be moved to Minnesota because the companies are located in or near the state and the assets included in the deal are located there."

Under terms of the previously announced deal, GCR reported, Illinois Tool Works would sell Graco its finishing business. According to Illinois Tool Works, and as reported by GCR, all of those businesses deal in wet industrial finishing and powder paint equipment.