13 Oct 2008

Commerce Commission rethink on Warehouse bids

3:18 pm on 13 October 2008

It now appears that two supermarket groups can relaunch their takeover bids for The Warehouse.

In a document filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, the Commerce Commission said Woolworths should re-apply for takeover clearance, given market developments since it was declined.

The commission says that is the appropriate course of action, rather than pursuing the matter in court.

The move by the commission comes a day after The Warehouse said it will abandon its supermarket-style Extra divisions.

The Extra concept was central to a Court of Appeal decision blocking Woolworths and Foodstuffs from trying to take over The Warehouse.

A competition law expert at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, Andrew Matthews, says it now appears Woolworths and Foodstuffs could go ahead with their takeover bids.