U.S.-based Iron Mountain to sell Australian assets for acquisition - regulator

Wed Mar 9, 2016 9:13pm EST
 
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SYDNEY, March 10 (Reuters) - U.S. data management company Iron Mountain Inc will sell its Australian unit to ease regulatory concerns hampering its A$2.7 billion ($2 billion) buyout of Sydney-listed rival Recall Holdings Ltd, a regulator said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on Thursday that Boston-based Iron Mountain offered to make a court-enforcable promise to sell its existing Australian operations, which extend to all eight states and territories.

The ACCC added that it would invite feedback on the proposal for two weeks and decide whether to accept it by the end of this month.

The offering from Iron Mountain demonstrates the muscle being exerted by the ACCC as it adjudicates a host of mega-deals from offshore spurred by declines in the Australian dollar and the sharemarket over the past year.

In October, it warned that Halliburton Co's proposed $35 billion buyout of rival Baker Hughes Inc may result in price fixing locally, and it has forced Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc to pare its $6.4 billion takeover of port and rail giant Asciano ltd for similar reasons.

In November, the regulator indicated that it may block Iron Mountain's move on Recall, warning that it would give one company 71 percent marketshare and leave customers "vulnerable to price increases or reduced service levels".

Recall shares rose 1.6 percent to A$7.15 in mid-session trading on Thursday, while the broader market was flat. But the shares are below Iron Mountain's A$8.50 offer amid concerns the deal may not progress.

($1 = 1.3390 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Miral Fahmy)