After speculating that Bunnings’ proposed acquisition of Adelaide Tools would lessen competition in the South Australian market, the ACCC has revealed it will not oppose the merger.
According to the competition watchdog, the transaction isn’t likely to substantially impact competition due to the existence of expanding competitors such as Total Tools and Sydney Tools.
“Although Bunnings has a clear overall focus on the DIY segment, it does market heavily to attract trade customers and is focused on growing its tool sales to tradespeople,” the ACCC said.
“[However], the differences between Bunnings and the Adelaide Tools businesses and the existence of large expanding specialist tool retailers… meant that we didn’t consider the threshold of a substantial lessening of competition was reached.”
Despite this, the ACCC said the decision shouldn’t be seen as an indication that it wouldn’t continue to scrutinise the DIY retailer, and any attempt to remove any competitive threat to the business would be “very closely scrutinised”.
Bunnings managing director Mike Schneider said the Bunnings team would now work toward integrating the business into the group, while allowing it to operate as a standalone power tools and heavy machinery business.
“While our businesses are very different, we see strong alignment between the Adelaide Tools and Bunnings brands,” Schneider said.
“We strongly believe that competition is great for customers and we remain as committed as ever to driving customer value through all of our offers.”