5 little company groups urge the ACCC to block Woolworths’ acquisition of PFD Food

Modest organization teams are urging the levels of competition regulator to block Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of family-operate PFD Foodstuff Services.

a person standing in front of a green plant: Woolworths

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In a letter to the Australian Opposition and Customer Commission (ACCC) seen by SmartCompany, five foodstuff assistance and retail marketplace organisations have named on the regulator to halt the $552 million merger, which they say will improve “the previously unfair” industry power held by the supermarket large.


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The merger would see Woolworths Team receive 65% of PFD Food items Products and services.

The Smith relatives would keep 35% of its shareholding and carry on to run as a standalone organization whilst partnering with Woolworths.

Council of Smaller Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) chief government Peter Robust signed the letter, noting the acquisition would consequence in a distribution chain “dominated” by a Woolworths-owned entity, which would inhibit little corporations along the source chain.

“At the instant, we have a far more various distribution procedure, which usually means the scaled-down gamers get to have a business enterprise model that operates for them,” Solid tells SmartCompany.

Solid claims a numerous distribution, output and manufacturing sector will allow small businesses to additional simply grow their products and find stores to promote to.

“Our encounter with Woolworths is that they limit the selection of items that they sell, and they use their dominance to corner the industry and inhibit innovation and expansion,” Strong suggests.

Executives from the Unbiased Meals Distributors Australia (IFDA), The Australian Convenience and Petroleum Entrepreneurs Association (ACAPMA), the Master Grocers Association (MGA) and the Australasian Affiliation of Ease Retailers (AACS) joined Robust in signing the letter.

These business enterprise groups say Woolworths’ acquisition of PFD Meals Services would decrease distribution choice for some suppliers, and for lots of scaled-down suppliers, it would “completely take away their route to market”.

“This go by Woolworths is … 1 that will probably have a sizeable adverse influence on the companies in the Australian food stuff offer chain — from growers, to producers, to distributors, and in the long run flowing by means of to foods services shops and independent grocers,” they stated.

Woolworths is Australia’s biggest food stuff and grocery distributor in the $12 billion sector, while PFD is the 2nd-major wholesale foodstuff distributor.

PFD purchases a extensive array of foodstuff products and solutions from brands and distributes them to food items support firms these as dining places, cafes, fast-food franchises, resorts and golf equipment.

The ACCC designed public in December its issues about Woolworths’ proposal to receive a the greater part of PFD Food stuff Products and services.

“The ACCC is concerned that the proposed acquisition seems very likely to increase Woolworths’ currently significant bargaining ability in its dealings with food manufacturers,” ACCC chair Rod Sims claimed.

Woolworths Group acknowledged the level of competition regulator’s announcement, indicating the organization experienced been intently operating with the ACCC to deal with the problems it had.

“We see no reduction in competitiveness, in any pertinent marketplaces, from our proposed partnership with PFD,” Woolworths Team chief govt Brad Banducci reported in a assertion.

“We remain assured that we will deal with any superb likely considerations so that we can development the proposed partnership,” Banducci claimed.

Woolworths need to receive clearance from the ACCC in get to efficiently get PFD Food Providers.

The ACCC’s closing selection will be announced on April 22, 2021.

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