PARTIES concerned by the prospect of reduced competition as a result of ANZ Terminals’ proposed acquisition of GrainCorp Liquid Terminals Australia Pty Ltd are invited to make submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by 8 August.
In a statement released today, the consumer watchdog said both companies provided port-side bulk liquid storage services in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and have been competitors in the market for stored liquids.
These include edible oils, tallow, non-flammable industrial chemicals and base oils.
“Our preliminary view is that the acquisition will remove a significant competitor in what is an already concentrated industry in NSW, Victoria, and South Australia,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“We are also considering the impact on competition in the east coast states more broadly, including Queensland.”
“In some locations, the acquisition will lead to ANZ Terminals becoming the only storage provider for some liquid products.
“This loss of competition could result in higher prices for customers, or lower levels of service.”
The ACCC said limited availability of vacant land for lease by new storage providers at the ports created a significant barrier to entry for potential competitors.
“Even where land may be available, it is highly uncertain that any new entrants would emerge in the bulk liquids sector to challenge ANZ Terminals.”
ANZ Terminals has provided an undertaking to divest the Osborne terminal in South Australia, and the ACCC is still considering whether the undertaking will address the competition concerns in that state.
“The proposed undertaking does not address the preliminary concerns we have in NSWand Victoria.”
The ACCC’s final decision is scheduled for 17 October 2019.
About the companies
ANZ Terminals is a subsidiary of Helios Investments Australia Pty Ltd, which is owned by Hyperion Investments Australia Pty Ltd.
ANZ Terminals provides bulk liquid storage services, specialising in the storage and handling of bulk liquid edible oils and fats, petroleum products and industrial chemicals for third-party customers.
Its proposed purchase of GrainCorp’s liquid terminals in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, all states in which ANZ Terminals does not currently have a presence, was announced in March.