Allens has advised AP Eagers Limited on its successful application to the ACCC for conditional merger authorisation to acquire Automotive Holdings Group Limited (AHG). The merged group will be the largest automotive dealer group in Australia.
This is the first merger authorisation considered by the ACCC after recommendations from the Harper Review were implemented in November 2017. Merger authorisation involves a public application and consultation process with statutory time frames and a right of review by the Australian Competition Tribunal.
Head of the Allens Competition, Consumer & Regulatory practice Jacqueline Downes said it was exciting to work with AP Eagers on such a novel approach.
'The matter was significant in that it involved the merger of the two largest automotive retailers in Australia.
'The increased certainty of the authorisation process was attractive given the public nature of its bid for AHG,' Jacqueline said.
Under the merger authorisation guidelines, the ACCC had 90 days in which to make a determination, reaching its determination in 88 days.
'While the informal process works well, and is likely to continue to be used in the vast number of merger clearances, authorisation is a viable alternative and we anticipate more companies may now look closely at the option of merger authorisation,' Jacqueline said.
Allens legal team
Competition, Consumer & Regulatory
Jacqueline Downes (Partner), Felicity McMahon (Managing Associate), Georgia Sands (Associate), Tarun McCormack (Lawyer) and Vanessa Cavallaro (Lawyer).
Notes for editors.
Allens is a commercial law firm working throughout Australia and Asia. Through its integrated alliance with Linklaters it provides clients access to 40 offices in 28 countries around the world.