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Clearance Application From Canterbury Meat Packers

Issued 13 August 2001/90

Commission Receives Clearance Application From Canterbury Meat Packers Limited

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Canterbury Meat Packers Limited (CMP) for clearance of a business acquisition under the recently amended Commerce Act.

The Commission's Business Competition Branch Director, Geoff Thorn, said that CMP's application is to acquire all shares in or assets of Phoenix Meat Company Limited (Phoenix).

CMP operates meat processing plants in Seafield, Canterbury and Riverlands, Marlborough. CMP's two principal shareholders are Asian New Zealand Meat Company Limited and Phoenix. The Asian New Zealand Meat Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of ANZCO Foods Limited.

Phoenix is a meat processing company operating a plant in Kokiri, Greymouth. It has two wholly owned subsidiaries, Phoenix Beef Limited and Westmeat New Zealand Limited, which runs a domestic wholesale and retail business.

The application for clearance will be investigated under the amended Commerce Act.

Mr Thorn said that the amended Act prohibits busines acquisitions that substantially lessen competition (SLC) in a market. Before the amendments the Act prohibited acquisitions that resulted in dominance being acquired or strengthened in a market. The Commission has explained how it intends to apply the new SLC test in Practice Note 4, the Commission's Approach to Adjudicating on Business Acquisitions Under the Changed Threshold in Section 47 - a Test of Substantially Lessening Competition. Practice Note 4 was published on May 28 and is available from the Commission's website, www.comcom.govt.nz and reception at its Wellington office.

The Act gives the Commission 10 working days in which to make its decision but allows for extensions of time if necessary.

Ends


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