Kina Securities Ltd (KSL) has sent an application to the Independent Consumer Competition Commission (ICCC) for approval of its proposed acquisition of Westpac's Pacific company.
Through the authorisation process, ICCC will determine the acquisition's competition consequences and public gains, according to Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Paulus Ain.
This will be achieved by a public review process in which the ICCC will accept comments from stakeholders and the general public before reaching a definitive judgment about whether or not to approve the acquisition under the ICCC Act.
“The process that ICCC will conduct is very transparent and it is very important for the people of this country, especially from the finance and banking sector, to get themselves involved,” Ain said. “The process has now started and we are formally inviting the people in the finance and banking sector, other commentators, interested parties and the public to the process on assessment. We are looking forward to seeing a lot of submissions come in and this process starts effectively today (Friday).”
KSL is awaiting ICCC approval to purchase 89.91 per cent of Westpac PNG Ltd.
The proposed acquisition has reached the threshold needed under section 81 of the ICCC Act for mandatory notification and obtaining ICCC approval to continue with the acquisition, according to the ICCC.
The authorisation process, according to Ain, has no bearing on the ICCC's decision on who buys.
“This is something that ICCC does not or is not required by law to do this,” he said. “It’s outside of the ICCC’s role.”