The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not oppose the acquisition of APA Group by the Hong Kong-based CK Consortium.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims said the proposed $13 billion acquisition of APA’s sizeable gas assets had created concerns over competition; however, CK Consortium’s undertaking to sell a significant portion of APA’s portfolio addressed this issue.
“The ACCC conclude that, in the absence of the undertaking, the proposed acquisition was likely to substantially lessen competition,” he said.
“The ACCC was concerned about the removal of the CK Consortium as a competitor in relation to new pipeline development.
“The undertaking addresses these concerns and creates an opportunity for a new operator to acquire a valuable set of assets, together with the personnel needed to operate and manage the assets.”
Approval from the competition watchdog leaves clearance from the Foreign Investment Review Board as the main barrier for the CK Consortium.
With a network of natural gas pipelines spanning around 15,000 km, APA owns and operates an extensive infrastructure portfolio valued at more than $20 billion.