Australia: Regulator probes Emergent, Oxford cold storage deal

The ACCC has raised preliminary competition concerns about Emergent Cold’s proposed acquisition of rival cold storage operator Oxford, outlined in a statement of issues published today.

Oxford and Emergent Cold are the second and third biggest suppliers of third-party cold storage services in Victoria.

Cold storage is an integral part of the domestic and international supply chains for food products including dairy, seafood, raw and cooked meat, poultry, frozen vegetables and other frozen or chilled foods.

“This acquisition would reduce the number of large Victorian suppliers from four to three,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“A significant number of customers have raised concerns with the ACCC about this deal. They consider Emergent Cold and Oxford to be each other’s closest competitors, as the companies provide similar services to similar customers.”

“The ACCC is concerned that losing the competition between Emergent Cold and Oxford in an already concentrated industry would result in higher prices and lower service levels,” Mr Sims said.

The combined Emergent Cold-Oxford would become the biggest supplier of third-party cold storage services in Victoria, controlling almost 40% of total market capacity.

Full Content: ACCC

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