Murray Goulburn sale clears ACCC hurdle

The ACCC has approved Saputo’s proposed takeover of MG after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking to divest the Koroit plant.

“Saputo’s divestiture undertaking has remedied the ACCC’s competition concerns about the Koroit plant,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said. “The undertaking creates an opportunity for a viable competing milk processor to enter or expand in the local region. When approving a new owner of Koroit, we will focus on its ability to be a strong and effective competitor for raw milk in the region.” Mr Sims said the ACCC heard from and spoke with many farmers who expressed concerns with the regulator intervening in this transaction in the short term because they wanted certainty and stability after a bumpy ride with MG.

“I want to assure them our aim is to put in place an outcome that works in their best interest by promoting competition in the medium to longer term while minimising short term uncertainty,” Mr Sims said.

The undertaking also includes details of transitional milk supply arrangements and independent management for the plant until it is sold. The ACCC will issue a Public Competition Assessment in due course that will outline the reasons for its decision in more detail. The sale still has to gain approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the EGM to be held on Thursday.