The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has opened its request for submissions from interested parties on Lion’s proposed acquisition of Fermentum, the parent company of Stone & Wood and several other brands.

The surprising news that Fermentum had accepted Lion’s proposed takeover came in early September, and is subject to approval from the ACCC.

The ACCC’s investigation is focused on the impact the deal will have on competition, and in particular the watchdog is seeking views on:

  • whether Lion and Fermentum compete closely for the supply of beer
  • the likely impact of the proposed acquisition on the price or service levels for the supply of beer, and
  • the availability of alternatives to customers and the ability of these alternatives to expand.

The legal test which the ACCC applies in considering the proposed acquisition is in section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Section 50 prohibits acquisitions that are likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

As well as the implications of the deal on the craft beer category, the ACCC is also considering the impact of the proposed acquisition on the markets for the manufacture and supply of alcoholic cider, alcoholic seltzer and kombucha.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday, 5 October with details of how to make a submission available on the ACCC website.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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