25/03/2010 - 15:08

ACCC allows Coogee-Gull deal to go ahead

25/03/2010 - 15:08

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The competition watchdog says it will not oppose Coogee Chemicals' purchase of Gull Petroleum's Kwinana terminal, after Royal Vopak complained the transaction would lessen competition.

ACCC allows Coogee-Gull deal to go ahead

The competition watchdog says it will not oppose Coogee Chemicals' purchase of Gull Petroleum's Kwinana terminal, after Royal Vopak complained the transaction would lessen competition.

Coogee chief executive Phil Thick told WA Business News the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wrapped up its investigation into the $40 million transaction earlier than expected.

Last month, Coogee unveiled that it would buy a neighbouring Kwinana terminal, owned by Gull.

The transaction was set to be settled a few weeks later, however Dutch company Royal Vopak reportedly complained to the ACCC that the deal will lessen competition in the area.

Royal Vopak does not own or operate any terminals in Western Australia.

The ACCC this week concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to lessen competition.

"Due to the economies of scale associated with fuel hosting, it is unlikely that there would be two competitively viable independent fuel terminal operators in Perth under any of the likely future scenarios," the ACCC said.

"Barriers to entry for the provision of fuel or chemical hosting services in Perth are likely to be low.

"In particular, there is a substantial amount of appropriately zoned vacant land in the vicinity of the existing terminals which can be connected by pipeline to the wharf and BP refinery."

Mr Thick said he expected the Gull deal to be settled next week.

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