Pact and Flight both manufacture and supply rigid plastic packaging made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is commonly used as a container for food such as meat and seafood, fresh fruit and baked goods. PET is known as the Type 1 plastic for recycling purposes, and can be repeatedly recycled and remade into new packaging. Such recycled packaging is sometimes referred to as RPET packaging. Competition to supply PET (including RPET) packaging to these, and other, customers was the focus of the Commission’s investigation.
Chair Anna Rawlings said the Commission is satisfied that the proposed acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.
“Although Pact and Flight are two of the largest suppliers of PET packaging in New Zealand, our investigations indicate that the merged entity is likely to be constrained in its ability to raise prices or reduce service quality. In particular, it will face competition from a number of New Zealand-based manufacturers and importers of PET products, several of which have the ability to expand. Several large customers also appear to have the ability to support smaller suppliers.” said Ms Rawlings.
“Our investigation also found that customers are increasingly considering environmental impact when seeking packaging, and in future the merged entity’s PET products may also face increasing competition from other types of packaging.”
In addition to packaging, the Commission also considered the potential impact on competition for the purchase of bales of recycled PET, as well as PET offcuts created by other manufacturers of PET products. Both of these products can be recycled and used to manufacture PET packaging. However, Ms Rawlings said that “the Commission was satisfied that there are sufficient alternatives for sellers of PET bales and offcuts such that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in these markets.”