Baiada acquisition of Bartter back on ACCC agenda

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 14th April 2009

The proposed takeover of chicken processor Bartter is to again be scrutinised by the competition watchdog after Baiada announced they would be prepared to divest all assets currently owned by Bartter in Victoria to La Ionica Poultry.

On 11 February 2009, the ACCC announced its decision to oppose the proposed acquisition of Bartter by Baiada. The ACCC believed that the proposed acquisition would have been likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in markets for the wholesale supply of processed chicken.

The assets to be divested in an attempt to address these concerns include Bartter’s Geelong processing plant, associated breeding farms and hatcheries and Bartter’s North Melbourne feed mill.

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. Together, the three companies hold around 65 per cent of the Australian market.

La Ionica currently operates a chicken processing facility in Thomastown Victoria, and is a major supplier of whole dressed birds to customers, predominantly in Victoria and to a lesser extent in New South Wales.The ACCC is now seeking views from market participants to assist its consideration of the proposed undertaking and determine whether the proposed divestiture would be likely to alleviate the ACCC’s competition concerns.

The proposed undertaking will be available on the ACCC website ( Submissions are due 24 April 2009 and can be faxed to (02) 6243 1212 or emailed (preferably in PDF format) to