Wesfarmers acquisition of Catch gets go-ahead from ACCC

The ACCC has decided not to oppose the proposed acquisition of online retailer Catch Group by Wesfarmers for $230 million.

The acquisition was announced in June and was subject to regulatory approval.

The ACCC’s review of the proposed acquisition examined both physical and online retail competition, as well as whether there would be any potential impact on third-party marketplace sellers.

“We reviewed whether Wesfarmers’ retail position could be leveraged into online sales and marketplaces in an anti-competitive way,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.

“The current growth in online marketplaces is fostering competition between providers, and feedback indicated that Wesfarmers’ proposed acquisition of Catch would be unlikely to change that level of competition.”

“Stakeholders also consistently told us that Catch and Wesfarmers are not close competitors, primarily due to the differences in their business models,” he said.

Following the acquisition Catch Group will operate as an independent business unit, under the oversight of Ian Bailey, the Managing Director of Kmart Group.

Kmart Group Managing Director Ian Bailey said Catch had built a successful first-party and fast-growing marketplace business underpinned by a leading technology platform and data capabilities.

“We are excited to work with the Catch team and look forward to leveraging our capabilities to grow the business and accelerate the customer-driven, omni-channel initiatives across Kmart and Target,” Ian Bailey said.

“This will further drive best practice in supply chain, fulfilment and online execution across our brands, including opportunities for Target to secure online fulfilment capacity and productivity benefits. Catch will also benefit from the support of Kmart Group’s scale and capabilities to drive its continued growth in its existing marketplace business,” Ian continued.