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ACCC Gives Green Light For OfficeMax & COS Sale

The ACCC has given its blessing and decided not to oppose the proposed acquisition of OfficeMax by Complete Office Supplies (COS).

Both OfficeMax and COS are suppliers of office-based products to commercial and government customers in Australia.

The news comes as the consumer watchdog continues to review Platinum Equity’s proposal to purchase OfficeMax Australia. Platinum Equity is the owner of Winc [formerly Staples].

As part of its decision, the ACCC considered the supply of traditional office products – particularly stationery – concerning large commercial and government customers.

Speaking on the regulator’s decision, ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, affirms that COS-OfficeMax will continue to face competition from other market rivals:

“The ACCC found that a combined COS-OfficeMax would continue to face competition from Winc (formerly Staples), and to a lesser extent from Lyreco. Post-acquisition, Winc will remain the market leader by some margin”

“Few customers expressed concerns about the proposed acquisition and some suggested that an enlarged COS may be able to compete better with Winc”.

The ACCC first commenced its review of COS’s proposed acquisition on July 20th.

COS is a privately owned Australian company which operates nationally, boasting staff, offices and warehouses in every state.

Concerning its review of Platinum Equity’s bid for OfficeMax, Mr Sim states a result is expected in late November:

“If there are competing proposals to buy a company, the ACCC reviews the proposals independently of each other. A decision on Platinum Equity’s bid for OfficeMax is currently due in late November”.


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