Media Releases

Connor Healthcare withdraws merger appeal

18 June 2015

Connor Healthcare Limited (Connor) has withdrawn its appeal to the High Court of the Commission’s decision declining clearance for it to acquire all of the shares in Acurity Health Group Limited (Acurity) that  it did not already own.

Connor’s withdrawal of the appeal means that the Commission’s decision declining clearance for the acquisition stands.

Background

Connor’s proposed acquisition would have seen three of the four private hospitals in the Wellington region – Boulcott, Bowen and 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.

In declining clearance, the Commission was not satisfied that the proposed acquisition would not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in respect of a number of medical procedures performed in private hospitals in the Wellington region.

A copy of the Commission’s decision can be found on the Clearances Register.

Connor subsequently made a second application for clearance to acquire all of the shares in Acurity, subject to a divestment undertaking which meant that Evolution’s interest in Acurity would remain at the same level as it was prior to the acquisition. The Commission cleared this second application.

Connor appealed the Commission’s decision to the High Court under section 91 of the Commerce Act. Connor’s appeal related only to the first decision.