Commerce Commission to address issues related to Foodstuffs’ proposed merger

(Source: Foodstuffs North Island)

Foodstuffs shareholders will have to wait longer to know the fate of their bid to merge the North Island and South Island businesses after the Commerce Commission said it will outline potential competition issues with the plan.

The commission said it will address its concerns over the proposed merger in a Statement of Issues and invite submissions from Foodstuffs North Island, Foodstuffs South Island and other interested parties.  

The commission also announced that the decision date will be May 31 instead of April 4, which had been agreed between the regulator and Foodstuffs.

The regulator noted the Statement of Issues is not a final decision and does not mean that it intends to decline or clear the application for clearance. 

Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island currently operate as separate co-operatives that focus on serving the island in which they are located.

The two grocery co-operatives announced their plans to merge into a single national entity last November and applied to the Commerce Commission for clearance in December.

Foodstuffs said the merger would deliver better value and enhanced competition for customers and wholesale customers under a new wholesale supply regime.

Foodstuffs has 532 owner-operated stores throughout the country, with brands including Pak’nSave, New World, Four Square, and Gilmours in the North Island, and Pak’nSave, New World, Four Square, On the Spot, and Trents in the South Island.

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