The Wall Street Journal: Hong Kong firm’s $9 billion bid for Australian pipeline operator clears antitrust hurdle

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s antitrust regulator won’t stand in the way of a more than $9 billion takeover of one of the country’s main gas-pipeline operators, putting the deal by Hong Kong’s CK Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. 1038, +1.86%   in the hands of foreign investment authorities.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Wednesday said it wouldn’t oppose the acquisition of APA Group APA, +1.33%   after accepting plans from a CKI-led consortium to offload assets that would otherwise have meant a threat to competition when APA was merged with existing operations in the country.

Rod Sims, chairman of the regulator, said concerns had been raised in the industry about APA’s dominance in gas transmission, but a takeover wouldn’t alter that in a material way.

In mid-August, APA’s board agreed to a 12.98 billion Australian dollar (US$9.24 billion) formalized bid from the consortium.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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