The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided that it will not oppose the acquisition of BHP Civil Products by Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd.

BHP Civil Products manufactures and markets steel fabricated products to the civil construction and infrastructure markets within Australia and South East Asia. Both BHP Civil Products and Industrial Galvanizers supply steel road safety barriers and steel light/power poles, among other products.

"After considering the information provided by the parties and other market participants, the ACCC is of the opinion that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessening competition," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today.

"The markets for these products are relatively small in dollar terms, but the ACCC considered the acquisition carefully because of the benefit to the community of a reliable, cost effective supply of these products.

"The ACCC found that, in the event of higher prices and margins for the supply of steel guard rail or steel light and power poles, there are a number of possible sources of entry. This entry would not require substantial investment.

"In respect of safety barrier systems, prices for the supply of steel guard rail by the merged business may be constrained by the supply of wire rope safety fence, which is a relatively new product to Australia. Wire rope can substitute for steel guard rail in some instances, is widely used overseas and market participants generally consider that it will be used increasingly in Australia. The other major manufacturer of steel guard rail in Australia is ANI Arnall, a business unit of The ANI Corporation Limited. A small amount of steel guard rail is imported to Western Australia for distribution by Meneghello Galvanising Services.