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New Zealand Commission clears Cardrona to acquire Treble Cone

New Zealand Commission clears Cardrona to acquire Treble Cone
December 13, 2019

The Commerce Commission, New Zealand’s competition, consumer and regulatory agency, has granted clearance for Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited to acquire either the shares of Treble Cone Investments Limited or the assets it uses to operate the Treble Cone ski field.

Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited is the owner and operator of the Cardrona ski field, which is located above the Cardrona township between Wanaka and Queenstown. Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited is part of the Wayfare group of companies.

Treble Cone Investments Limited owns and operates the Treble Cone ski area, near Wanaka.

Both the Cardrona and the Treble Cone ski fields offer a mix of trails for skiing and snowboarding, catering for beginners through to expert skiers and boarders, as well as equipment sales and hire, food and beverage services, and sightseeing.

In considering Cardrona’s application for clearance, the Commission focussed on whether the price of single day, multi day and season ski passes would increase with the acquisition, including to skiers in the Wanaka region, and whether the acquisition would increase the likelihood of coordination on ski pass prices. The Commission also considered the extent to which an alternative purchaser would invest in, and develop, the Treble Cone ski field.

Chair Anna Rawlings said the Commission is satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any relevant market. The merged entity would be unable to successfully charge higher prices, or reduce the quality of the services offered, due to the high numbers of skiers from outside the region with alternative options.

Rawlings advised “We are satisfied that there is unlikely to be a material difference in the extent to which Treble Cone competes, either with its current ownership structure, or with an alternative owner.

“We also considered that the high fixed cost nature of ski field operations, and the need to maximise the number of skiers using a ski field would make coordination between the merged entity and other ski fields in the region unlikely.”

Further information explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available here.

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission’s case register in the near future.

Related Articles

4th December 2019 - Significant fall in New Zealand skiing and snowboarding injuries attributed to risk management and education

19th August 2019 - Research assesses merits of season passes for New Zealand’s ski fields

15th May 2019 - Skills Active Aotearoa shares Cardrona Alpine Resort’s workforce development practices

3rd April 2019 - Treble Cone introduces early morning First Tracks tickets

25th July 2018 - Cardrona Alpine Resort set to double in size

31st May 2018 - Treble Cone ski field welcomes new Brand Manager

29th May 2018 - Cardrona Alpine Resort to open this weekend

5th April 2018 - Treble Cone welcomes new Ski Area General Manager

6th March 2018 - New Zealand ski areas report record visitation during 2017 winter season

23rd March 2015 - New biking event at Cardrona Alpine Resort

5th May 2014 - Snow Sports NZ and Cardrona Alpine Resort sign partnership agreement

28th June 2012 - Fresh Snow in advance of Treble Cone opening

26th May 2011 - Treble Cone ranked as top New Zealand/Australian ski area


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