Friday, December 14, 2007

Australian regulator delays Borders decision again

MELBOURNE, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The Australian competition regulator has delayed for a second time a decision on the potential takeover of bookseller Borders Group Inc's local businesses by private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on its Web site a ruling was now expected on Jan. 30 instead of Dec. 19.
When the ACCC first delayed a ruling last month, it said it had concerns that a takeover could reduce discounts and increase prices.

"They probably need extra time to review submissions and concerns from competitors or other industry players," said an analyst who asked not to be named.
Pacific Equity Partners has lodged a final bid for Borders' 24 stores in Australia and New Zealand, which could be worth over A$100 million ($88 million). The PEP-owned A&R Whitcoulls Group already owns the Angus & Robertson chain of 182 bookstores. ($1=A$1.13) (Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; editing by James Thornhill)

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