Affected market: Electrical appliance retailing
The OFT's decision on reference under section 22 given on 6 November
Pacific Retail Group Ltd (PRG) is a New Zealand listed company with
a number of businesses including electrical appliance retailers which
only operate in New Zealand. In the UK PRG owns Bendon (UK) Ltd, a
clothing retail business.
Powerhouse Holdings Ltd, Powerhouse Retail Ltd and Powerhouse Connect
Ltd (collectively Powerhouse) operated a number of electrical
appliance stores throughout the UK. Powerhouse's UK turnover was £266
million. It went into receivership in August 2003.
PRG acquired certain (but not all) assets of Powerhouse as a going
concern from the administrative receivers.
Details of the acquisition were received by the OFT on 15 October 2003.
The 40-day administrative deadline is 10 December. It was completed on 2
September 2003 and the statutory deadline is 1 January 2004.
As a result of this transaction PRG and Powerhouse have ceased to be
distinct. The UK turnover of Powerhouse exceeds £70 million, so that the
turnover test in section 23(1)(b) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act)
is satisfied. A relevant merger situation has been created.
There is no horizontal overlap between the activities of the parties,
nor are there any vertical links between them. There is also no risk of
any conglomerate effects arising. The OFT does not believe that the
creation of the relevant merger situation has resulted in a substantial
lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United
Kingdom for goods or services.
This merger will therefore not be referred to the Competition Commission
under section 22(1) of the Act.
Published 6 November 2003