Commerce Commission Declines Southern Cross and Aorangi Hospital Joint Venture

(LAWFUEL) – The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance to Southern Cross Health Trust and Aorangi Hospital Limited to merge their respective private hospital operations in Palmerston North.

Commerce Commission Chair Paula Rebstock said that the Commission cannot be satisfied that the proposed acquisition will not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in any of the relevant markets.

In line with its usual procedure, the Commission will not be making any comment on the decision until the written reasons are available.

Public versions of the written reasons for the decision will be available as soon as practicable on the Commission’s website, www.comcom.govt.nz, under Public Registers.

Background

On 28 March 2008 the Commerce Commission received an application from Southern Cross Health Trust and Aorangi Hospital Limited to merge their respective private hospital operations in Palmerston North.

Southern Cross operates a number of private surgical facilities throughout the country including a hospital in Palmerston North. The Southern Cross hospital in Palmerston North has two operating theatres and 26 in-patient beds and provides secondary elective surgical services to both day patients and in-patients.

Aorangi Hospital is privately owned and operated by a group of medical specialists in Palmerston North with four operating theatres and 32 in-patient beds as well as a number of consulting rooms.

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