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NGC Applies For Clearance To Acquire Hutt/Mana Gas

NGC Applies For Clearance To Acquire Hutt/Mana Gas Network

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Natural Gas Corporation (NGC) for clearance to acquire the gas network in the Hutt Valley, Tawa and Porirua areas currently owned by AGL NZ Energy. NGC is 66 percent owned by AGL.

The Commission's Commerce Act Manager, Geoff Thorn, said that last year the Commission cleared NGC to acquire TransAlta, which was the principal gas retailer over this network. That clearance was given subject to an undertaking that AGL would divest the network.

The undertaking required the network to be sold to a party independent of AGL or to an associated company if this did not breach the Commerce Act.

The Act prohibits business acquisitions that result in dominance being acquired or strengthened in any market. The Commission must decide whether the ownership of the network by NGC rather than an independent party would result in dominance being acquired or strengthened.

The Commission has 10 working days in which to make a decision but the Act allows for an extension of time if necessary. Working day 10 will be 22 May.

Public copies of NGC's application are available by e-mailing dick.adam@comcom.govt.nz and in hard copy from reception at the Commission's Wellington office, level 7 Landcorp House, 101 Lambton Quay.


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