Mergers

ACCC appeal in PN Aurizon case

The ACCC has lodged an appeal against the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss the ACCC’s proceedings in relation to Pacific National’s acquisition of Aurizon’s (ASX: AZJ) Acacia Ridge Terminal.

In July 2018, the ACCC brought proceedings alleging that Pacific National’s acquisition of the Acacia Ridge Terminal in Brisbane would substantially lessen competition by raising the barriers to entry for potential new rail operators.

Concerns about AP Eagers' proposed acquisition of AHG

The ACCC has preliminary concerns about AP Eagers’ (ASX: APE) proposed acquisition of the shares in Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) (ASX: AHG) that it does not already own, and its impact on competition in new car retailing in the Newcastle/Hunter Valley region of New South Wales.

The ACCC is currently assessing an application for merger authorisation from automotive retailer AP Eagers.

Liberty’s acquisition of Steelforce not opposed

The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Steelforce Holdings Pty Ltd (Steelforce) by GFG Alliance Australia (Liberty).

Liberty and Steelforce both manufacture and distribute long steel products, which are used for construction and industrial purposes.

The ACCC’s review focused on the wholesale supply and distribution of three types of long steel products: hollows, structurals and merchant bars.

Concerns about Landmark’s proposed acquisition of Ruralco

The ACCC has released a statement of issues raising preliminary competition concerns about Nutrien’s proposed acquisition of Ruralco (ASX: RHL).

Nutrien operates in Australia through its wholly owned subsidiary, Landmark. Landmark and Ruralco supply rural merchandise such as fertiliser, fencing and animal health products and other services through their branded retail store networks.

Both companies also have wholesale businesses supplying rural merchandise to independent stores.

APLNG’s acquisition of Origin’s Ironbark project not opposed

The ACCC will not oppose Australia Pacific LNG’s (APLNG) proposed acquisition of the Ironbark coal seam gas project from Origin Energy (Origin).

APLNG is a large gas producer with significant gas tenements in eastern Australia. It supplies almost 30 per cent of the gas going into the east coast market, and processes the balance of its gas for export at its LNG facility near Gladstone, Queensland.

Gun jumping risks for merger transactions

In Australia, merger parties should be aware that some actions they take in anticipation of their transaction completing can expose them to legal action for gun jumping.

Court dismisses ACCC proceedings opposing rail freight consolidation

The Federal Court has dismissed the ACCC’s proceedings against rail companies Pacific National and Aurizon, which related to control of Acacia Ridge Terminal, a key asset in Australia’s intermodal rail network.

The Court indicated that it would have found that the proposed acquisition had the likely effect of substantially lessening competition in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act had it not been for the undertaking offered to the Court by Pacific National on the last day of the hearing. 

GSK-Pfizer consumer healthcare deal not opposed

The ACCC will not oppose GSK’s proposed acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business in Australia.

GSK and Pfizer supply prescription and over-the-counter medication. The proposed acquisition combines only their over-the-counter businesses, which include the well-known pain management products Panadol, Voltaren and Advil, as well as gastrointestinal and cold and flu products.