Competition Bureau approves Superior Plus Gibson propane deal with conditions

CALGARY _ The federal Competition Bureau says it will allow Superior Plus Corp. to buy the industrial propane division of Gibson Energy Inc. (TSX:GEI) after it agreed to sell retail propane sites and other assets in 12 markets.

The regulator says the $412-million sale of Gibson’s Canwest Propane division announced in February could have led to substantial price increases for consumers who depend on propane to heat their homes and run their businesses, especially in rural areas.

But, it says, Toronto-based Superior has agreed to address those concerns by selling assets in six B.C. markets, three in Alberta, and one in each of Saskatchewan, northern Ontario and the Northwest Territories.

Canwest is a 30-year-old company with more than 50,000 customers, including international, national and large regional companies, making it one of the country’s largest industrial propane distributors.

Superior Plus (TSX:SPB) said the acquisition will make it the largest propane distributor in Canada with 200,000 customers, 1,700 employees and more than 250 distribution locations.