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The proposed acquisition of Westpac likely to be declined by ICCC

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission has released its Draft Determination on the Authorisation Application by Kina Securities Limited for the proposed acquisition of shares in Westpac Bank-PNG-Limited.

On 17th March 2021, Kina Securities Limited applied to the ICCC seeking authorization for its proposal to acquire 89.91% shares in Westpac PNG. The ICCC conducted public consultations on this proposed acquisition before completing its assessment.

ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain explained that after taking into consideration KSL’s authorization application and submission including comments from relevant stakeholders and available market information, the ICCC proposes to decline authorization for the proposed acquisition.

“For the reasons outlined in its Draft Determination, the ICCC is not satisfied that this Proposed Acquisition would not have, and would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening of competition in the relevant markets; and is not satisfied that the Proposed Acquisition will result, or will be likely to result, in such a benefit to the public that it should be authorized,” Ain said.

“Therefore, the ICCC proposes to decline authorization to KSL.”

Ain further added that the parties and other stakeholders have been given the opportunity to comment on the Draft Determination through a conference to be held on the 11th of August, 2021.

“After the conference, the ICCC will make a Final Determination on the Proposed Acquisition.”

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a limited number of stakeholders will be invited to attend the workshop in person. Other stakeholders will be invited to join the conference virtually.

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