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Australian regulator flags concerns over Saputo's Tasmanian cheese business buyout

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Australia’s competition watchdog on Thursday raised concerns about Canadian dairy firm Saputo Inc’s acquisition of the Australian cheese business of Japan’s Kirin Holdings.

“We are concerned that combining these two operators may lead to Tasmanian dairy farmers being paid lower prices for their raw milk,” Australia Competition & Consumer Commission Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said in a statement.

In April, Saputo announced the A$280 million ($189 million) acquisition of the specialty cheese business of Lion Dairy & Drinks, a unit of Kirin Holdings.

$1 = 1.4793 Australian dollars Reporting by Syed Saif Hussain Naqvi in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin