Virbac Group - proposed acquisition of the Fort Dodge livestock business of Pfizer Inc

Acquirer(s)

  • Virbac Group

Target(s)

  • Fort Dodge livestock business of Pfizer Inc

Summary

On 30 September 2009, the ACCC announced its decision not to oppose Pfizer Inc's proposed merger with Wyeth Corp, subject to a section 87B undertaking (the Undertaking). The Undertaking addressed competition concerns identified by the ACCC in a number of animal health markets. Under the Undertaking, Pfizer was required to divest the Fort Dodge livestock business in Australia to a purchaser approved by the ACCC.

Pfizer proposed to sell the Fort Dodge livestock business to Virbac Group and therefore lodged a proposed purchaser notice seeking the ACCC's approval of Virbac as the proposed purchaser of the Fort Dodge livestock business pursuant to the Undertaking (proposed acquisition).

Market definition

The ACCC considered Virbac's suitability as a proposed purchaser according to the criteria established in clause 7.3(b) of the Undertaking and pursuant to s50 of the Trade Practies Act 1974. The following markets were considered relevant to the proposed acquisition:
- the national market for the supply of endectocides for worm control in cattle; and
- the national market for the supply of endoparasiticides and endectocides for worm control in sheep.

Competition analysis

The ACCC considered that there was no reason for it to withhold approval from Virbac as an approved purchaser of the Fort Dodge livestock business, in accordance with the criteria set out in clause 7.3(b) of the Undertaking. In addition, the ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the relevant markets. In forming this view, the ACCC had regard to the following factors:
- Virbac's products would face strong competition from generic alternatives; and
- the proposed acquisition was unlikely to result in the removal of a significant source of competitive tension from the relevant markets.

Undertakings

Document title Date

Timeline

DateEvent
18/11/2009ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.
27/11/2009Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
09/12/2009Former proposed date for announcement of ACCC's findings, indicative decision date amended at Pfizer's request.
14/01/2010ACCC commenced review of proposed purchaser notice submitted by Pfizer.
15/01/2010Former proposed date for announcement of ACCC's findings, indicative decision date amended due to receipt of proposed purchaser notice.
21/01/2010Closing date for submissions from interested parties in relation to proposed purchaser criteria.
27/01/2010ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.