"Currently, in line with Alinta's undertaking given to the ACCC in connection with the Alinta-AGL joint merger proposal, Alinta is obliged to divest any interest in APT after a specified period," Samuel said.
"That undertaking remains in force and applies to all of Alinta's interest in APT and any further interest it may acquire. Furthermore, there are restrictions in that undertaking on Alinta's ability to appoint directors that are designed to prevent Alinta from controlling APT's operations.
"Alinta has now put forward a draft undertaking to the ACCC that, if accepted by the ACCC, would effectively replace the existing undertaking.
"The draft undertaking put forward by Alinta still involves a commitment to divest APT. However, that commitment falls away in the event that APT ceases to have an interest in the Moomba-to-Sydney Pipeline, Parmelia Pipeline and GasNet. The undertaking would permit Alinta, if it is able, to take control of the governing board of APT to enable the asset divestments to occur.
However, stricter hold separate and ring fencing obligations would apply to ensure that the pipelines operated competitively during the transition period.
"The ACCC will be conducting a public consultation process in relation to the proposed undertaking", Samuel said.
Market participants are requested to provide confidential comments on the undertaking by Monday September 25.
In relation to the Agility operation and management contracts associated with the Moomba to Sydney and Parmelia pipelines, Alinta is offering to make similar commitments to the commitments contained in the earlier signed undertaking. Both undertakings involve the ACCC conducting market inquiries to determine whether those contracts, currently held by AGL's subsidiary Agility, need to be divested by Alinta. Those market inquiries are currently under way.
The draft proposed undertakings put forward by Alinta are available on the ACCC's website, www.accc.gov.au, by following the link to Mergers and then the link to Mergers register.
In other news, Petronas Australia Pty Ltd and its related bodies corporate increased their substantial shareholding to 13.53% on September 7.