The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Sealord Group Limited to acquire the fishing business of Independent Fisheries.
In reaching its decision, the Commission says it considered the potential impact of the proposed acquisition on competition in the markets for the supply of fishing quota and its associated annual catch entitlement to deepwater fishing companies, as well as markets for the supply of frozen fish to wholesale and retail customers in New Zealand.
Division Chair, Dr Derek Johnston said the Commission was satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.
“Our investigation found that Sealord and Independent Fisheries do not compete particularly closely in any of the relevant markets and, post-acquisition, Sealord will continue to be constrained by several other established competitors,” said Dr Johnston.
“We consider that these factors will mean the merged entity is unlikely to be able to significantly increase prices, or to affect how the different deepwater fishing companies compete with one another, in any of the relevant markets,” he said.
A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission’s case register in due course.