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ACCC puts Bunnings on notice after approving Adelaide Tools acquisition

Bunnings first announced the purchase last October, entering into an agreement to buy the five family-owned stores, plus one specialist mower store, for an undisclosed sum. Adelaide Tools is a 70-year-old business, run by the Peach family. It will continue to operate separately following the acquisition.

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The company expected the deal to pass without a hitch, but in November the ACCC flagged concerns with the acquisition, fearing it would weaken competition for trade customers.

Bunnings operates 302 hardware stores throughout Australia, 15 of which are located in the Adelaide region. Bunnings managing director Mike Schneider said the company was pleased with the ACCC’s decision but expressed his displeasure with the five-month-long review.

“We do believe it’s important that timelines for merger reviews are appropriate and provide certainty for businesses,” he said.

“Adelaide Tools is a quality business with a great team, premium brands and a reputation for great customer and after-sales service. We’re so happy to be able to provide clarity for the Adelaide Tools team, particularly in the current uncertain environment.”

Despite the regulator’s warning, Mr Schneider said Bunnings would not stop seeking “opportunities to provide better value and service to customers” in the future.

Wesfarmers shares were down 4.5 per cent to $34.28 in late afternoon trading.

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