Endeavour Group’s market clout in liquor retailing through its powerful chains of Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores means its plan to expand in Darwin through the $11 million acquisition of a large pub is facing increasing hurdles from the competition regulator.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Monday that it had concerns about the proposed purchase of the Beachfront Hotel in Rapid Creek, north of Darwin, because of the effect on competition in takeaway liquor.
Endeavour signed a deal in May to acquire the Beachfront Hotel from long-term owner Doug Sallis but still faced a tough road to gain approval. A final decision is scheduled for March 9 under an ACCC timetable which had been progressively delayed.
The Beachfront Hotel includes a pub and adjoining independent bottle shop that operates under the Cellarbrations brand. Endeavour Group already operates four BWS stores within a five-kilometre radius of the venue.
Endeavour Group has a large business across Australia, where it oversees 258 Dan Murphy’s outlets and 1417 BWS stores, and 344 hotels which house a combined 12,000-plus poker machines.