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Paloma Industries Application To Acquire Southcorp

Media Release

Issued 11 December 2001/128

Commerce Commission receives clearance application from Paloma Industries to acquire Southcorp

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Paloma Industries Limited, through its wholly owned subsidiary NZ Water Heater Company Limited, to acquire 100% of the water heaters and heating elements business of Southcorp Water Heaters NZ Limited.

Paloma Industries Limited is a privately held Japanese company. The ultimate holding company of Paloma is Paloma Co., Ltd, which is the producer of gas appliances, including water heaters.

Paloma Co., Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells water heaters in Japan. Its products are sold throughout Asia, including Australia and New Zealand. Paloma Co., Ltd also owns the North American based Rheem Manufacturing Company.

NZ Water Heater company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian Water Heater Pty Ltd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rheem US Holding Inc., which in turn is owned by Paloma.

Paloma produces gas appliances, including water heaters, in Japan and imports these into New Zealand.

Southcorp Water Heaters NZ Limited is part of the Southcorp Water Heaters Group based in Australia. The ultimate holding company of the Southcorp Water Heaters Group is Southcorp Limited, a major company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Southcorp New Zealand manufactures and supplies residential and commercial water heaters under the "Rheem" and "Vulcan" brands.

In considering the application, the Commission's role is to determine whether the merger has the effect of substantially lessening competition in the market.

A public version of Paloma's application is available on request from the Commerce Commission. Please contact Catherine Best, (04) 494-0953.


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