The consumer watchdog has cleared the way for Propel Funerals to absorb a major Sunshine Coast service and become a market leader in southeast Queensland.
The ACCC said on Thursday it will not oppose Propel’s proposed $36 million acquisition of Gregson & Weight as it said the deal would not significantly alter the local market.
Gregson & Weight has been operating in the Sunshine Coast since the 1970s and has a majority of the local market, while Propel – the nation’s second largest funeral service – has a small local presence through its Premier Funerals brand.
“Propel and Gregson & Weight predominantly focus on different customer segments and there is limited current competition between them,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said in a release.
Propel also operates Buderim Crematorium, which offers cremation services to third party funeral directors who do not have their own cremation facilities.
The ACCC said it was unlikely Propel’s acquisition would increase the ability and incentive for Propel to restrict other funeral directors’ access to Buderim Crematorium.
Last month Propel said a bounce-back in death numbers over the late winter and early spring had driven an improved financial performance.
Funeral volumes increased by 11.8 per cent to 11,304 for FY19 as the company added Newhaven Funerals, Manning Great Lakes Memorial Gardens, Martin Williams Funeral Directors, and the Waikanae Funeral Home and the Morleys Group to its stable.