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Caltex Seeks Clearance To Acquire Challenge

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Caltex New Zealand Limited to acquire up to 100 percent of the shares in Challenge Petroleum Limited (CPL).

Caltex has wide-ranging interests in the petroleum industry in New Zealand, and is ultimately owned by United States-based oil companies Texaco Inc and Chevron Corporation.

CPL is involved in the importation and distribution of petroleum products to "Challenge!" branded service stations. It is owned by Rubicon Limited, which is a company formed to hold certain assets formally owned by the Fletcher Challenge Group. Rubicon is publicly listed with a large number of shareholders.

The Director of the Commission's Business Competition Branch, Geoff Thorn, said that the Commission must determine what markets are relevant to the proposal, and then assess what impact the proposal would have on those markets.

The Commerce Act prohibits business acquisitions that result in dominance being acquired or strengthened in any market. The Commission will give a clearance 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, but allows for extensions of time if necessary. The Commission is due to make its decision on June 20.

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

Ends


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