Propel Funeral Partners Limited - Gregson & Weight Funeral Directors

Acquirer(s)

  • Propel Funeral Partners Limited

Target(s)

  • Gregson & Weight Funeral Directors

Summary

Propel Funeral Partners Limited proposed to acquire Gregson & Weight Funeral Directors.

Propel and Gregson & Weight both provided funeral directing services and cremation services in the Sunshine Coast region.

Market definition

The ACCC considered the effect of the proposed acquisition on competition in the Sunshine Coast region for:

  • the supply of funeral directing services, and
  • the supply of cremation services.

Competition analysis

The ACCC concluded that Propel’s proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any relevant market.

Gregson & Weight is the clear market leader in the Sunshine Coast region for the supply of funeral directing services. Propel only has a small presence in the market under its Premier Funerals brand. While the proposed acquisition would result in an increase in market concentration, the ACCC noted that competition in the market would not significantly change as a result of the acquisition. Additionally, Propel would still face competitive constraint from InvoCare following the acquisition. The ACCC considered that Propel and Gregson & Weight predominantly focused on different customer segments and that there was limited current competition between them.

Given the vertically integrated nature of the industry, access to cremation facilities for third party funeral directors is particularly important. The ACCC assessed whether the proposed acquisition would result in Propel foreclosing the supply of cremation services at Buderim Crematorium to third party funeral directors. Based on information received from the market and the parties, the ACCC concluded that this was unlikely to occur, and that Propel’s incentives to provide third party access to this crematorium would remain the same following the acquisition. The ACCC considered that if Propel sought to foreclose access, rival funeral directors would have an ability to travel to further crematoria to acquire cremation services when there is no on-site service required. The ACCC also took account of significant spare capacity in the industry.

Market inquiries

Document title Date

Timeline

DateEvent
01/10/2019ACCC commenced informal review under the Informal Merger Review Process Guidelines.
16/10/2019Closing date for submissions.
01/11/2019Former proposed decision date (28th November) brought forward.
07/11/2019ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.