Camp Australia Pty Ltd (Camp Australia) and Junior Adventures Group (JAG) have withdrawn their request for merger clearance by the ACCC.
The ACCC commenced an informal merger review on 1 June 2017. Following extensive feedback from interested parties, including schools and parents, the ACCC expressed concerns with the proposed acquisition in a Statement of Issues published on 10 August 2017.
“The ACCC had expressed concerns that the loss of competition between Camp Australia and JAG could result in higher prices for parents and lower quality care for students in some states,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“Our preliminary view was that the proposed merger would have substantially lessened competition for the supply of before and after school care in Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland. The ACCC was also further considering impacts in the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia.”
“Any transaction that sees the two largest players in a market merging will be closely scrutinised by the ACCC,” Mr Sims said.
The Statement of Issues is available on our public register.
Camp Australia and JAG are the two largest commercial providers of before and after school care in Australia. They both operate:
- before and after-school care, which is care for primary-school aged students before and after school during school terms
- vacation care, which is care for primary-school aged students during school holidays and pupil free days.
Camp Australia operates under the brand Camp Australia at about 780 sites throughout Australia. It is majority-owned by funds managed by Bain Capital Private Equity LP, an investment advisor headquartered in Boston, USA, and its affiliates (Bain Capital). Bain Capital acquired Camp Australia in February 2017.
JAG provides before and after-school care and holiday-care services, under its two brands, OSHClub and Helping Hands. JAG operates in about 380 schools in Australia, as follows:
- OSHClub operates and manages services in about 265 schools in Victoria, NSW, WA, Queensland, South Australia, and the ACT
- Helping Hands operates and manages services in about 120 schools in Queensland, NSW and WA.
The owner of the majority of JAG is Advent Partners, which acquired it in September 2015. Advent Partners is a private investment firm headquartered in Melbourne.
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