Australia's competition regulator has raised concerns over whether the proposed takeover of Ruralco Holdings (ASX:RHL) by Nutrien could reduce wholesale competition and lead to discrimination against some independent retail stores.
In February the agribusiness received a $462 million all-cash takeover offer from Canadian fertilizer giant Nutrien.
Nutrien operates in Australia through its wholly owned subsidiary, Landmark. Both Ruralco and Landmark supply rural merchandise such as fertiliser, fencing and animal health products and other services through their branded retail store networks.
The ACCC has identified a number of areas, including Broome, Alice Springs and Cooma where Landmark’s rural merchandise stores compete with Ruralco stores and there would be few remaining competitors.
Shares in Ruralco (ASX:RHL) are trading 3.04 per cent lower at $4.15.