Baiada’s acquisition of Australia’s second largest chicken producer, Bartter, could still be blocked by the competitive regulator, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) releasing a Statement of Issues highlighting concerns over the proposal.
Bartter Enterprises, the owner of the Steggles brand and employer of over 4,500, is the second largest producer and marketer of chicken and turkey products in Australia. Inghams – with over 7,000 employees – is the largest, with Baiada the third largest producer of chicken products in Australia. Together, the three companies hold around 65 % of the Australian market.
It is likely that the proposed take-over will result in Baiada claiming the top spot from Inghams. The competition watchdog is worried about a potential lessening of competition in two main areas:
• The market for the acquisition of chicken grower services in the west Victoria region and
• The market for the supply of chicken meat to national wholesale customers, including supermarkets and quick-service restaurants.
To allow for submissions in response to the Statement of Issues (which can be made until January 27th) the ACCC’s final decision date will be deferred until 11 February 2009.