The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it will not oppose Ruralco’s proposed acquisition of Elders Rural Services Limited.
Ruralco and Elders each operate a national network of agri-product retail outlets, supplying a range of agri-products including fertiliser, agricultural chemicals, animal health products and farm merchandise.
Ruralco and Elders also provide a range of rural services including livestock agency, wool marketing, cattle trading, real estate, water broking/trading and financial services.
"The ACCC considered that in most towns with both a Ruralco and Elders retail store, the combined rural services retail networks of the merger parties would be constrained by alternative retail suppliers of agri-products located nearby," ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said today.
“In the small number of towns where the merger parties face limited competition from alternative agri-product retailers, the ACCC considered that existing or potential new retail suppliers of agri-products could readily enter or expand into these markets.”
The ACCC took into account the competitive constraint arising from the presence of a number of alternative retail suppliers of agri-products, including Landmark, independent CRT and Town & Country retailers, and strong independent wholesale banner groups such as AgLink and AIRR.
The ACCC found that independent retailers of agri-products are able to source supply from independent wholesalers on terms which enables them to compete strongly with the major corporate retailers.
In reaching this decision, the ACCC consulted widely with a range of interested parties, including independent CRT and Town & Country members, independent wholesalers of agriproducts, livestock, wool and water broking agents and industry bodies.
The ACCC’s decision will be available at www.accc.gov.au/MergersRegister