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Australia: ACCC clears Federation and Novion merger

 |  May 21, 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it was giving the green light to the $22 billion merger between Federation Centres and fellow property giant Novion, after the groups agreed to divest a south east Melbourne shopping centre.

The ACCC today said it would not block a merger between Federation Centres and Novion Property Group, after the two groups entered a merger agreement in February that would create a combined real estate investment trust, on the basis that the duo would divest a shopping centre in the Frankston region.

Without the divestment, the merger would substantially lessen competition in the region where Federation owns the Karingal Hub and Novion has its Bayside shopping centre — the only large multipurpose shopping centre managers in the region, according to the consumer watchdog.

“The ACCC was also concerned about a potential reduction in competition for retail tenants,” ACCC Commissioner Jill Walker said.

“This reduction in competition could have resulted in less attractive amenities and retail offerings, or an ability to charge higher rents.”

After accepting court-enforceable undertakings from the parties to divest one of the centres, the ACCC gave the merger the go-ahead.


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