ACCC relays poultry takeover concerns

Posted by Editorial on 9th January 2009

The acquisition of Australia’s second largest chicken producer – Bartter – by Baiada may yet be blocked by the competitive regulator, with the ACCC releasing a Statement of Issues highlighting concerns with 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 per cent of the Australian market.

A takeover is likely to see Baiada, which currently has around 2,200 employees, claim top spot from Inghams.

The competition watchdog is worried about a potential lessening of competition in two main areas:

  1. The market for the acquisition of chicken grower services in the west Victoria region; and
  2. The market for the supply of chicken meat to national wholesale customers; including supermarkets and quick-service restaurants.

The ACCC commenced their inquiries in November and have postponed their final decision to allow further market inquiries in response to the Statement of Issues. Further submissions from the market can be made until January 27 2009.

To allow for submissions in response to the SoI, the ACCC’s final decision date will be deferred until 11 February 2009.

For more information please visit the ACCC website.