Hirepool cleared to buy rival

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 16:59 21/02/2013

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The Commerce Commission has given the owner of hire equipment firm Hirepool the green light to buy rival Hirequip, which is being sold by receivers of its parent company. 

The commission assessed whether the proposed purchase by Hirepool owner Bligh Finance would substantially lessen competition in the national and sub-regional markets the firms operate in.

Commission chairman Dr Mark Berry said it had decided that was unlikely.

"In the hire of building construction and maintenance equipment, the merged entity would constrained in each sub-regional market by the presence of existing competitors, low barriers to entry" and/or the countervailing power of large customers, which typically held multiple accounts with different suppliers.

The commission did not find any significant business overlap between the two firms in the hire of heavy construction and earthworks equipment. 

Hirepool and Hirequip both hire out general construction and building equipment as well as marquees and portable toilets. Hirepool has 46 branches around the country while Hirequip has 37.

Its owner, Pacific Equipment Solutions, was placed into receivership in July last year. The receivers are selling Hirequip to generate cash to contribute to repay Pacific's debts, the commission said.

The purchase price has not been disclosed.

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