ACCC seeks consultation on Landmark's proposed rural store divestments

Company News

by Anna Napoli

The ACCC is seeking views on a proposed undertaking offered by Canadian fertilliser giant Nutrien in relation to its proposed $469 million acquisition of Ruralco (ASX:RHL).

The request comes after the competition watchdog flagged concerns about their combined market dominance in some locations and in wholesale supply to independent farm merchandise stores.

Nutrien operates rural merchandise stores and other rural services in Australia under the Landmark brand.

Nutrien’s proposed undertaking seeks to address some of the preliminary competition concerns identified by the ACCC in its statement released last month. It would require Landmark to divest three rural merchandise stores located in Broome (WA), Alice Springs (NT) and Hughenden (Qld) to a purchaser approved by the ACCC.

The ACCC says the undertaking seeks to address only local issues in Broome, Alice Springs and Hughenden, and does not seek to address possible issues at the national or wholesale levels.

The regulator has requested views from market participants on whether the undertaking is sufficient and would be likely to alleviate competition concerns in the local markets identified.

Parties wishing to make submissions should do so by 5 August 2019.

Shares in Ruralco (ASX:RHL) are trading 0.24 per cent higher at $4.22.