ACCC gives nod for Energizer to buy rival


The competition watchdog has announced it will not oppose Energizer Holdings’ acquisition of global battery and portable lighting business Spectrum Brands Holdings, Varta.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the proposed acquisition will likely lessen competition in the Australian market for consumer batteries, but will not have a substantial impact.

“This means that the proposed acquisition would not breach section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.

At present, Spectrum has less than 5 per cent market share for consumer batteries in Australia, according to the ACCC.

The ACCC’s recent investigation analysed whether Spectrum will provide a strong competitive constraint on the market leaders, Energizer and Duracell, despite its small share of sales.

According to Featherston, Spectrum has limited brand recognition in Australia, meaning it is unlikely to be a strong constraint on Energizer and Duracell in the medium-term.

“We also believe there are other brands and private-label products that could fill a similar competitive niche in the market to Spectrum,” he said.

“Energizer also faces strong competition in consumer batteries from Duracell, which is the other player in the market with a significant market share and strong brand recognition.”

Featherston said that Energizer and Spectrum do not generally compete for the same customers in Australia in the separate market for hearing aid batteries.

“A combined Energizer-Spectrum would also be constrained by several other branded and private label suppliers,” he said.

The ACCC did not consider there were competition issues in relation to the sale of portable lighting devices, such as torches.

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