Woolworths acquisition queried

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will further investigate the proposed acquisition of a supermarket site at the Glenmore Ridge Village Centre at Penrith in NSW by Woolworths.

The Glenmore Ridge Village Centre is a 2.11ha block of undeveloped land located in the recently released Glenmore Ridge residential estate.

The site is presently zoned as a ‘Local Centre’. As a result, subject to council and regulatory approvals, the site can house a supermarket, as well as complementary specialty shops such as bottleshops, banks or post offices.

The site is currently owned by Stockland, trading as Lensworth Glenmore Park Limited (Stockland).

The ACCC has released a Statement of Issues seeking further information on certain competition issues which have arisen from the ACCC’s review to date.

The ACCC’s preliminary view is that the proposed acquisition is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the local Glenmore Park market.

There is already a Woolworths supermarket located at nearby Glemore Park Town Centre.

The ACCC considers that the proposed acquisition would be likely to have the effect of preventing or hindering competition that may otherwise have been brought to the local market by an alternative supermarket operator.

This competition is unlikely to be otherwise introduced into the local market because of the lack of other available suitable sites for supermarket development.

The ACCC invites further submissions from the market in response to the Statement of Issues by October 4. As a result, the ACCC’s final decision will be deferred until 18 October 2012.

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