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FQuarries dropped from Fletcher's bid

NZN 30/06/2016 Jonathan Underhill

Fletcher Building has dropped the Horokiwi Quarries from its application to buy Higgins Group Holdings.

It comes as the Commerce Commission delayed its ruling on the deal for the second time.

The regulator identified the manufacture and supply of aggregates from quarries as its key competition concern in a statement of preliminary issues released in February.

Horokiwi Quarries, a 50-50 joint venture between Higgins and Fulton Hogan, operates three quarries in the Wellington region.

The change in the application, excluding Horokiwi, is in a letter to the commission from Fletcher's legal adviser, Bell Gully.

Fletcher said in February that it would pay $315 million for Higgins, New Zealand's third-largest road construction and maintenance company, subject to regulatory approval.

It didn't immediately say whether that price would be amended after the omission of the quarries.

The commission said the only area of potentially anti-competitive overlap between the two companies as being the market for crushed rock aggregates used in road-building and associated infrastructure projects.

The decision, which had been due on Thursday, is now scheduled for July 22.

Fletcher shares rose 2.2 per cent to $8.47.

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