BP Australia Pty Ltd - proposed acquisition of Centrel Pty Ltd

Acquirer(s)

  • BP Australia Pty Ltd

Target(s)

  • Centrel Pty Ltd

Summary

BP Australia Pty Ltd (BP) proposed to acquire all of the shares in its branded distributor Centrel Pty Ltd (Reliance).

Market definition

The ACCC considered the proposed acquisition in the context of:

1. State-based markets for the wholesale supply and distribution of:

- petrol;
- diesel; and
- automotive LPG.

2. Local markets for the retail supply of:

- petrol;
- diesel; and
- automotive LPG.

3. State-based markets for the supply of commercial bulk fuels

4. State-based markets for the supply of wholesale lubricants

5. National market for the supply of fuel cards

Competition analysis

The ACCC concluded that the likely counterfactual to the proposed acquisition was Reliance continuing to operate as per the status quo. The ACCC did not consider it was likely that Reliance would be acquired by a party other than BP in the absence of the proposed acquisition. For this reason, the ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the markets for the wholesale supply of fuel.

The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would not be likely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any local retail markets due to the minimal overlap between the retail networks of BP and Reliance and the presence of sufficient local competitors in those areas where overlap did exist.

The ACCC concluded that BP and Reliance were not close competitors in the markets for the supply of commercial bulk fuels, wholesale lubricants and fuel card services. Accordingly, the ACCC considered it unlikely that the proposed acquisition would lead to a substantial lessening of competition in these markets.

Statement of issues

Document title Date

Timeline

DateEvent
25/08/2010ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.
15/09/2010Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
21/10/2010ACCC published a Statement of Issues outlining issues that may raise concerns.
05/11/2010Closing date for submissions relating to Statement of Issues.
17/11/2010ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.