Application for Merger Authorisation of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd
Australian Competition Tribunal
Murray Goulburn applied to the Tribunal under s 95AV of the Competition and Consumer Act seeking authorisation of its proposed acquisition of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter. This is the first application for authorisation since the power to grant merger authorisations shifted from the ACCC to the ACT in 2007. Authorisation must not be granted unless the Tribunal is satisfied that the acquisition is likely to result in such benefit to the public that it should be allowed. The Tribunal must consider as benefits:
- significant increase in the real value of exports
- significant substitution of domestic products for imported goods
- all matters relevant to the international competitiveness of any Australian industry
Other factors may also be considered.
The application was withdrawn on 23 January 2014; rival bidder, Canadian dairy company, Saputo, made a successful bid.
Key documents can be found on the Tribunal's authorisation page. They include:
- John Durie, 'Competition Tribunal's move in the dairy takeover game is unprecedented' (The Australian, 11 January 2014)
- Tin Binsted and Jared Lynch, 'ACCC has concerns over Murray Goulburn's takeover of WCB' (SMH, 8 January 2014)
- Blair Speedy, 'Dairy battle takes political twist as tribunal calls for input on Warrnambool takeover' (The Australian, 8 January 2014)