Australia’s competition watchdog has pushed back the date on which it is set to announce its verdict on Saputo‘s planned acquisition of the operating assets and liabilities of local dairy giant Murray Goulburn.

Saputo, which already owns Australia-based dairy business Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, announced the CAD1.29bn (then US$1bn) deal for Murray Goulburn in October.

The companies said at the time the transaction was expected to be finalised in the first half of 2018.

Murray Goulburn said today the ACCC had delayed the publication of its review into the deal from 15 February to 1 March.

“The former provisional date was delayed due to ACCC requiring more time to consider data and other information. In large transactions of this nature, it is not unusual for a short delay to occur in the ACCC regulatory approval process, particularly given the Christmas break,” Murray Goulburn said.

“Murray Goulburn will continue to work with the ACCC to assist in its review. The transaction is still anticipated to be complete in the first half of 2018.”