Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group Limited (75% owned by Woolworths Limited) - proposed acquisition of 5 Adelaide Hotels from Saturno Hotel Group

Acquirer(s)

  • Aust Leisure & Hospitality Group Limited (75% owned by Woolworths)

Target(s)

  • 5 Adelaide hotels from Saturno Hotel Group

Summary

Woolworths Limited owns 75 per cent of Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group Limited (ALH). ALH proposes to acquire 5 hotels and associated bottle shops in Adelaide from the Saturno Hotel Group. The hotels are: the Findon Hotel, the Norwood Hotel, the Royal Oak Hotel, the Slug 'n' Lettuce Hotel and the Victoria Hotel.

Market definition

This proposed acquisition was assessed within the context of the following markets:

1. the market for the retail sale of packaged liquor for off-premises consumption. The geographic dimension of this market is a 3-5km radius surrounding the target businesses;

2. the SA market for the wholesale supply of packaged liquor for subsequent sale in the retail market for off-premises consumption; and

3. local Adelaide markets within a 3-5km radius of the hotels for the sale of liquor for on-premises consumption, gaming and live music (hotel services).

Competition analysis

On 7 August 2007, the ACCC formed the view that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any relevant market. Factors informing this conclusion included:

- In relation to the first market, the ACCC concluded that post-acquisition, Woolworths Limited will continue to be constrained by competition from Coles and a number of independent bottle shops in all local areas of overlap;

- In relation to the second market, the ACCC considered that Woolworths' relatively small increase in market share as a result of the acquisition was unlikely to significantly increase Woolworths' buying power or to substantially weaken any competing wholesaler by diminishing its buying power; and

- In relation to the third market, the ACCC concluded that post-acquisition, Woolworths Limited and ALH will continue to be constrained by competition from a number of competing hotels in all local areas of overlap, and possibly also the variety of entertainment venues likely to offer similar experiences to attending a hotel.

Timeline

DateEvent
16/07/2007ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines. Market inquiries commenced.
25/07/2007Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
07/08/2007ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.