AUSTRALIA: ACCC Pushes Back Decision On Metcash-Home Timber Deal

The Australian competition regulator has delayed a decision on Metcash’s proposed A$250m acquisition of Woolworths Ltd’s Home Timber & Hardware chain.

The ACCC was due to take a decision on the deal this morning, but has instead suspended the timetable.  The deal will see the number of independent wholesalers in Australia come down from two to just one, and this has led to strong opposition from independent hardware outlets.

Metcash has issued an undertaking regarding the deal, which reportedly offers guarantees in terms of dealing with independents to ensure fair treatment. The ACCC said it would announce a new decision date “in due course”, noting that it might be a final decision or a statement of issues.