Holcim Australia Pty Limited - proposed acquisition of certain assets of Hunter Concrete Products Pty Limited

Acquirer(s)

  • Holcim Australia Pty Limited

Target(s)

  • certain assets of Hunter Concrete Products Pty Limited

Market definition

The ACCC considered the proposed acquisition within the context of an eastern NSW market for the manufacture and supply of concrete pipes (including both steel and fibre reinforced concrete pipes), approximating the region within a 500 kilometre travelling distance of the target's manufacturing facility in Thornton, NSW.

However, for the purposes of the competition analysis, the ACCC did not consider it necessary to form a definitive view regarding the geographic market definition. The likely competitive constraints would be unchanged if a broader NSW market was adopted.

Competition analysis

The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any relevant market. In forming this view, the ACCC had regard to the following factors:
- the presence of a number of alternative suppliers of concrete pipes in the relevant market including Rocla, RCPA, James Hardie and Bruno Altin;
- the target did not appear to be a vigorous and effective competitor;
- acquirers of concrete pipes appeared to have some ability to bypass the merged firm by vertically integrating into the production of concrete pipes; and
- the acquisition appeared unlikely to increase the risk of coordinated effects in the relevant market.

Timeline

DateEvent
09/07/2010ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.
23/07/2010Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
03/08/2010ACCC requested further information from the parties. Former proposed decision date of 19 August 2010 for announcement of ACCC's findings amended to allow for provision of further information by the merger parties. ACCC timeline suspended.
10/08/2010ACCC received further information from the acquirer.
16/08/2010ACCC requested further information from the acquirer. ACCC timeline remained suspended.
23/08/2010ACCC received further information from the acquirer. ACCC timeline recommenced.
15/09/2010ACCC requested further information from the acquirer. Former proposed decision date of 16 September 2010 for announcement of ACCC's findings amended to allow for provision of further information by the acquirer. ACCC timeline suspended. A new proposed date for the announcement of the ACCC's findings will be advised in due course.
23/09/2010ACCC requested further information from the acquirer. ACCC timeline remains suspended.
29/09/2010ACCC received further information from acquirer. ACCC timeline recommenced.
12/10/2010ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.