The Commerce Commission last night cleared Rockgas Ltd to acquire the LPG assets of BP Oil New Zealand Ltd, other than those used to supply LPG to customers of BP's own branded service stations.

BP is considering selling these assets, and several bidders are presently going through due diligence.

Commission Chairman Alan Bollard said that after examining the proposal, the Commission concluded the proposed merger would not result in Rockgas acquiring or strengthening a dominant position in any market.

The Commission considered the likely effects of the proposal on the North Island and South Island wholesale and retail LPG markets.

The Commission's view is that, although the proposed acquisition by Rockgas would result in aggregation in the wholesale and retail LPG markets in both Islands, a number of factors prevent Rockgas acquiring dominance.

These factors included the presence of major LPG wholesalers Shell and Liquigas, the constraints imposed by competing fuels, BP's continued role as a wholesaler to its branded service stations and the relatively low barriers to potential new entry into the market.

Media contact: Vince Cholewa, Communications Officer

Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 479 1432