ACP Magazines' proposed acquisition of Recipes+ has been delayed while the competition regulator makes more inquiries.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission said it expected to announce its findings on Thursday, five weeks after starting its merger review and two weeks after its original March 25 deadline.
As reported in The Australian, ACP announced its intention to buy Recipes+, currently published by Knockout Media, on March 2, with industry sources estimating its price at about $5 million.
It is understood Seven Media Group's Pacific Magazines was one of the underbidders.
ACP, which is owned by PBL Media, already dominates the magazine market with a 58.3 per cent share of weekly magazine sales and a 40.6 per cent share of sales of titles published monthly or less often, according to an analysis of the latest circulation audit by NDD Distribution.
It publishes more than 85 magazines in Australia, which sell nearly 110 million copies a year. At the time the deal was announced, ACP group publishing director Phil Scott said the acquisition of Recipes+ was "part of our long-term strategy to be the new force in food publishing".
That category is dominated by News Magazines, which claims a 67.8 per cent share of all food magazine sales and a 71.3 per cent share of readers.
Recipes+ was launched in 2003 as a quarterly aimed at budget-conscious cooks. It became a bi-monthly in May 2007 and a monthly in 2008.
It has average sales of 133,876 copies an issue, behind Super Food Ideas (287,000) and Woolworths Good Taste (145,336), both published by NewsMags .
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