The ACCC announced on 8 May 2014 that it would not oppose Peregrine Corporation’s (Peregrine) proposed acquisition of BP Australia’s (BP) company owned and company operated retailed petrol station sites in South Australia after accepting an undertaking under s87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Undertaking).
Peregrine is a privately owned operator of retail service stations in South Australia. Peregrine’s petrol sites operate under the ‘On The Run’ store brand.
The Undertaking requires Peregrine to divest four petrol stations in Adelaide to address the ACCC’s competition concerns associated with market concentration in particular local areas where Peregrine already operates a number of petrol stations. The ACCC was concerned that the market concentration post-transaction would lead to higher fuel prices or reduced non-price competition.
The ACCC also considered the impact of the acquisition on competition between petrol retail chains across Adelaide between BP, Caltex, Coles Express, Peregrine and Caltex/Woolworths. The ACCC concluded that the proposed transaction would significantly increase Peregrine’s presence in Adelaide but would not substantially lessen competition between these chains.
In a related transaction, the ACCC opposed the proposed acquisition of Caltex Fullarton in Adelaide by Peregrine. Peregrine had proposed to acquire Caltex Fullarton from Caltex, through the process of complying with the Undertaking. The ACCC opposed this acquisition for reasons of close competition between Caltex Fullarton and BP Glenunga (which Peregrine is acquiring from BP) and other nearby Peregrine stations.