Mergers

Gun jumping risks for merger transactions

In Australia, merger parties should be aware that some actions they take in anticipation of their transaction completing can expose them to legal action for gun jumping.

Court dismisses ACCC proceedings opposing rail freight consolidation

The Federal Court has dismissed the ACCC’s proceedings against rail companies Pacific National and Aurizon, which related to control of Acacia Ridge Terminal, a key asset in Australia’s intermodal rail network.

The Court indicated that it would have found that the proposed acquisition had the likely effect of substantially lessening competition in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act had it not been for the undertaking offered to the Court by Pacific National on the last day of the hearing. 

GSK-Pfizer consumer healthcare deal not opposed

The ACCC will not oppose GSK’s proposed acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business in Australia.

GSK and Pfizer supply prescription and over-the-counter medication. The proposed acquisition combines only their over-the-counter businesses, which include the well-known pain management products Panadol, Voltaren and Advil, as well as gastrointestinal and cold and flu products.

ACCC opposes TPG-Vodafone merger

The ACCC has decided to oppose the proposed merger between TPG Telecom Limited (ASX: TPM) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (ASX:HTA).

Australia already has a very concentrated mobile services market, with the three network operators, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, having over 87 per cent share. Similarly, the fixed broadband market is concentrated, with Telstra, TPG and Optus having approximately 85 per cent share.

ACCC reviews first merger authorisation application

The ACCC has started to assess an application lodged by AP Eagers Limited for authorisation to acquire Automotive Holdings Group Limited.

“AP Eagers’ application is the first merger authorisation considered by the ACCC since reforms in 2017 restored the ACCC’s ability to consider applications for merger authorisation. Under the new process, the application comes to the ACCC first rather than the Australian Competition Tribunal,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

ACCC will not oppose proposed IPH - Xenith acquisition

The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Xenith IP Group Limited (ASX: XIP) by IPH Limited (ASX: IPH).

IPH and Xenith are holding companies of intellectual property (IP) businesses, and the proposed acquisition would combine two of the largest suppliers of IP services in Australia.

The ACCC’s investigation of this proposed acquisition examined competition in the supply of Australian IP services, such as patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights.

Lochard's acquisition of Heytesbury gas reservoirs not opposed

The ACCC will not oppose Lochard Energy’s proposed acquisition of the Heytesbury depleted gas reservoir assets from Origin Energy.

Lochard owns and operates the underground gas storage facility at Iona, near Port Campbell, which is currently the only underground gas storage facility in Victoria.

The Heytesbury assets are depleted gas reservoirs located near the Iona facility, which may have potential for underground gas storage development. Lochard is paying Origin a nominal amount for the assets.

ACCC will not oppose QANTM-Xenith merger

The ACCC will not oppose the proposed merger between QANTM Intellectual Property Limited (ASX: QIP) and Xenith IP Group Limited (ASX: XIP).

QANTM and Xenith are holding companies of intellectual property (IP) businesses and their merger would combine the second and third largest suppliers of IP services in Australia into one group.

The ACCC’s investigation focussed on competition in the supply of Australian IP services, such as patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights.