ACCC Raises Concerns Over Stockland-Supalai Acquisition of Lendlease Projects

Australia, Finance

Article: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed preliminary concerns regarding the proposed acquisition of 12 Lendlease (ASX: LLC) residential masterplanned community projects by Stockland and Supalai through a joint venture.

ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver stated that the Commission is worried about the removal of one of Stockland’s closest and largest competitors in the supply of residential housing lots in regions such as Illawarra, North West Perth, Ipswich, and Moreton Bay.

The ACCC has suggested that the acquisition may lead to potential price hikes, supply delays, or reduced quality of housing lots, which could negatively impact prospective homeowners.

Market feedback indicates close competition between Stockland and Lendlease, with both companies having strong reputations and the ability to invest in high-quality amenities such as education, parks, and town centres.

The concerns are particularly significant in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, where the acquisition would merge the two largest masterplanned community projects in an already highly concentrated market.

The ACCC is also considering whether the acquisition might increase the risk of anti-competitive coordination among developers regarding pricing, supply, and quality of masterplanned community projects.

The ACCC has not yet reached a final decision on these issues, and is inviting submissions in response to the Statement of Issues by 18 July 2024.

Further information is available on the ACCC’s public register.

Masterplanned community projects are large-scale residential property developments on greenfield land, typically delivered in phases over multiple years with a focus on community living and access to various amenities.