Acquirer: Arnotts Biscuits Ltd; Target: George Weston Foods Limited

Acquirer(s)

  • Arnotts Biscuits Ltd

Target(s)

  • George Weston Foods Limited

Summary

Arnott's Biscuits Ltd acquired the Chocolate Wheaten, Wagon Wheel and Quatro chocolate biscuit brands of George Weston Foods Ltd (collectively, "the Brands") in October 2003.

Market definition

The Australian market for the manufacture and wholesale of biscuits. A product market for biscuits was arrived at having reference to available information with regard to the marketing and competitive monitoring behaviour of biscuit manufacturers and to the buying behaviour of retailers. Further, regard was had to information demonstrating demand-side substitutability between different types of biscuits.

Competition analysis

The Brands account for only 2.4% of the relevant market, however the acquisition will cross the Commission's concentration thresholds for the exercise of unilateral market power owing to Arnott's high existing market share of approximately 56%.

It was considered that acquisition was unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition owing to its small size, countervailing power exercised by the major supermarket chains and the potential for entry or expansion by a number of multinational companies with demonstrated capacity to manufacture or import biscuits or like products.

Merger type

Horizontal

Guidelines thresholds

Crossed

Imports above 10%

No

Initiation

Complaint

ANZSIC code

2163