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Zuellig Pharma Applies For Clearance

Issued 15 December 2000/135

Zuellig Pharma Applies For Clearance To Acquire Sigma Assets

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Zuellig Pharma Limited for clearance to acquire assets currently owned by Sigma NZ Limited. Both companies operate in pharmaceutical markets in New Zealand.

Zuellig operates at wholesale, distribution, hospital and retail levels. It has interests in the "Unichem" and Vantage" banner groups of retail pharmacies.

Sigma operates at the wholesale, distribution and retail levels, including interests in the "Amcal", "Guardian" and "Pharmacycare" banner groups.

The Commission's Commerce Act Manager, Geoff Thorn, said that the Commission must identify the relevant markets and assess what impact the proposal would have on competition in those markets.

The Act prohibits business acquisitions that result in dominance being acquired or strengthened in any market. Parties can apply for a clearance, which the Commission will give if it is satisfied that dominance is not acquired or strengthened.

The Act gives the Commission 10 working days in which to make its decision. Due to the statutory definition of working days over the New Year period, working day 10 will be 18 January 2001.

The assets Zuellig proposes to acquire include the debtors, stock, creditors, all New Zealand employees and agreed liabilities of Sigma and its subsidiary, Pharmacy Wholesalers Wellington Limited. In addition, Zuellig proposes to acquire rights to use the names Amcal, Guardian, PPS, Pharmacycare and Sigma.

Public copies of Zuellig's application are available from reception at the Commission's Wellington office, level 7 Landcorp House, 101 Lambton Quay.

Media contact: Commerce Act Manager Geoff Thorn Phone work (04) 498 0958, cellphone 021 661 104

Senior Advisor Communications Vincent Cholewa Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 477 0039

Commission media releases can be viewed on its web site www.comcom.govt.nz

Regards Leo van Schyndel Records Officer Corporate Services Direct dial : (04) 498-0929 E-mail : leo.vanschyndel@comcom.govt.nz


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