Gilbert +Tobin has advised Prosegur Cash SA on the successful ACCC authorisation of the merger of its Australian business with Linfox Armaguard Pty Ltd (Armaguard). Subject to conditions, the ACCC authorised the merger of the two largest providers of cash-in-transit services in Australia on the basis that the transaction would result in public benefits.
Prosegur and Armaguard are the two largest providers of cash-in-transit services in Australia and the merger allows them to combine capabilities and expertise in cash management and transportation. Importantly, the merger will provide the merged business with the ability to reduce fixed costs, excess capacity and derive efficiencies that will enable it to develop a financially sustainable business, ensuring the continuing availability of cash in Australia.
Due to the significant decrease in the use of cash as a payment method, there has been a structural decline in the cash-in-transit industry. However, the ACCC recognised that, despite the ongoing decline in usage, for some parts of the economy, cash remains crucial. Without the merger, either company could withdraw from the market, which would have a detrimental and disruptive effect on the access to and availability of cash. The undertaking provided a significant public benefit by enabling the merger to take place and avoid the consequences of a disorderly exit if one of Armagaurd or Prosegur were to leave.
Speaking about the merger, Competition + Regulation Group Head Elizabeth Avery noted, “We are thrilled for our client Prosegur, as the ACCC’s decision allows them to reaffirm their commitment to the Australian market and achieve their long-term goal of providing a high-quality leading cash transportation and management business in Australia. In the face of severe structural industry decline, the ACCC’s authorisation is important to ensure the ongoing viability of the CIT industry and access to cash in Australia, particularly important for vulnerable Australians, Australians living in remote areas without access to electronic payments, and as a back up in times of natural disaster.”
Elizabeth was supported by Competition + Regulation partners Louise Klamka and Liana Witt, together with lawyers Lachlan Green, Johnathon Geagea and Adrian Vipond. Corporate Advisory Partner Deborah Johns and her team are advising on the M&A aspects of the merger.
Gilbert + Tobin’s Competition + Regulation Group is the pre-eminent competition practice in Australia. They are known for achieving outstanding commercial results, through innovative solutions and perseverance even when previous applications for transaction clearance or dispute settlement have failed. Over many years, the team is consistently ranked Band 1 for Competition/Antitrust - Australia (Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023) and Tier 1 for Competition + Trade - Australia (Legal 500 2023).