Spicers’ Direct Paper acquisition not opposed

20 February 2020

The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Direct Paper by Spicers Limited, finding that alternative suppliers of commercial printing paper and direct supply arrangements between printers and paper mills will continue to provide strong competition and constrain paper prices.

Direct Paper and Spicers are both engaged in the wholesale supply of commercial printing paper which is predominantly sold to commercial printers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“We have looked very closely at this proposed transaction, because it combines two of the larger paper merchants in these cities. However, we decided not to oppose this deal because we considered that rival merchants will continue to provide strong competition. Smaller customers generally have several alternative sources of supply, and larger customers can also import paper directly from paper mills,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.

“We found that many printers in Sydney and Melbourne were comfortable with alternative suppliers, such as Ball & Doggett, Domain and Vital. In Brisbane, where there are fewer competitors, we found that others are likely to expand or enter the market post-acquisition if prices rise, as barriers to expansion in Brisbane are unlikely to be significant. Direct Paper itself expanded into Brisbane in 2017,” Mr Ridgeway said.

Further information is available at Spicers Limited - Direct Paper.


Spicers Limited is a wholesale supplier of a range of paper, packaging and sign and display products in Australia and New Zealand.

Spicers is part of the wider Kokusai Pulp & Paper Co Ltd (KPP) group which is a Japanese multinational company operating as a trading house. KPP operations include the importing/exporting of paper board, pulp and other paper related products which KPP acquires from paper mills.

Spicers operates warehouse facilities in Dandenong South, Chullora and Hendra.

Direct Paper is a family owned wholesaler supplier of a range of paper and packaging products. In addition to wholesale supply of standard and pre-formed products, Direct Paper can also produce custom dimensions for packaging and board products.

Direct Paper operates warehouse facilities in Dingley and Springvale, Ermington and Pinkenba.

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