NZ: Lion faces wait on Independent review

By | 18 July 2006

New Zealand's competition watchdogs have decided to take more time to consider Lion Nathan's possible bid for local distiller Independent Liquor.

The New Zealand Commerce Commission decision on Lion's possible bid for the distiller had been due yesterday (17 July), but is now expected to be made on 11 August.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald today, a spokesperson for Lion said: "We're comfortable with the process."

Earlier this month, Lion confirmed that it had approached New Zealand's competition watchdogs for the green light for a bid but insisted it had yet to reach a decision on whether to table an offer.

"The application does not amount to a commitment to make an offer for Independent," Lion said at the time, adding it did not have "sufficient information" to make a bid.

Analysts have estimated that it would cost A$1.1m (US$818m) to buy Independent Liquor, which appointed UBS to advise it on a potential sale in May. A sale of the privately-owned company has been mooted since the death of its founder, Michael Erceg, in a helicopter crash last November.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Spirits

Companies: Lion Nathan

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