Connor Healthcare Ltd said yesterday it had filed an appeal in the High Court against the Commerce Commission’s decision declining clearance for it to acquire all the shares in Acurity Health Group Ltd it did not already own.
The commission declined Connor’s clearance application because its parent company, Evolution Healthcare (NZ) Pty Ltd, would have increased its interest in Acurity as a result of the merger.
The proposed acquisition would have seen 3 of the 4 private hospitals in the Wellington region – Boulcott, Bowen & Wakefield – come under common ownership, leaving only Southern Cross Hospital independent of Connor. The commission considered this would have resulted in some medical procedures only being available at the merged healthcare providers, removing a competitive constraint.
Connor subsequently made a second application for clearance to acquire all the shares in Acurity, subject to a divestment undertaking which meant Evolution’s interest in Acurity would remain at the same level as it was before the acquisition. The commission cleared this second application.
Connor’s appeal relates only to the first decision.
23 December 2014: Acurity bid unconditional
22 December 2014: Undertaking changes commission’s mind on Acurity takeover
12 December 2014: Commission rejects full Acurity takeover
Attribution: Commission release.