CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (Jan. 31, 8 a.m.ET) — The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has delayed releasing its findings into three separate proposed acquisitions of plastics companies.
The Canberra-based competition watchdog is investigating whether all acquisitions would lessen market competition and breach Australia's Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which prohibits acquisitions that substantially lessen competition in a market or are likely to.
ACCC is awaiting further information from merger parties involved in all three acquisitions before it is ready to release its findings.
Melbourne-based Visy Industries Australia Pty. Ltd. is seeking approval to buy the Australian and New Zealand assets and businesses of six companies - HP PET Pty. Ltd., HP PET (Australia) Pty. Ltd., HP Industries Pty. Ltd., HP Industries Services Pty. Ltd., HP Plastics (N.S.W.) Pty. Ltd. and HP Plastics (Vic.) Pty. Ltd. All the businesses are currently in receivership.
Visy manufactures and supplies PET, cardboard and metal containers, and collects and reprocesses recycled materials.
HP is a plastic packaging and steel drum manufacturer that supplies PET bottles and packaging to industrial, chemical, household cleaning, food, beverage and personal care industries. Visy is not acquiring HP's steel drum business.
ACCC said the two businesses overlap in the manufacture and supply of PET bottles and rigid plastic containers for non-beverage applications.
ACCC had hoped to reach a decision by Feb. 16, but the date has been delayed. "The ACCC will announce a new proposed decision date [after receiving] further information from the parties," the regulator said in a statement.
Melbourne-based Pact Group Pty. Ltd. is seeking approval for its third takeover attempt of rival firm Viscount Plastics Pty. Ltd. Findings were scheduled for release Jan. 19, but no new date has been set.
Preliminary findings in an ACCC statement of issues document identified areas of "overlap" in Pact and Melbourne-based Viscount's operations that ACCC suggests may lessen competition, including manufacturing and supplying PP and HDPE injection molded pails and cartridges, and PET beverage bottles in Western Australia. (The cartridges are tube-shaped containers that package and dispense adhesives, lubricants and sealants, including glue or filler guns commonly used in the building trades.)
ACCC also is investigating whether global packaging supplier Amcor Ltd.'s proposed acquisition of flexible packaging supplier Aperio Group Australia Pty. Ltd. would lessen competition in the market.
A final report was due for release Jan. 25 but ACCC will now release its findings Feb. 9.
Even if Melbourne-based Amcor get ACCC approval to proceed with the purchase, it will have to outbid other buyers that have shown interest in taking over Melbourne-based Aperio.