Competition Bureau reaches agreement with Superior to preserve competition in Canada’s portable heating fuels market

News release

May 31, 2023 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau has entered into a consent agreement with Superior Plus Corp. to address competition concerns with its acquisition of Certarus Ltd.

A Bureau review concluded that the proposed transaction would likely result in a substantial lessening of competition for the retail supply of portable heating fuels - propane and natural gas - for industrial customers in Northern Ontario.

In addition to Superior and Certarus being each other’s closest competitor for the supply of portable heating fuels to industrial customers in Northern Ontario, there is a limited number of alternative suppliers and barriers to entry are high.

To resolve the Bureau’s concerns, Superior has agreed to sell eight propane distribution hubs in Northern Ontario, including customer contracts and associated operating assets at each hub. The sale will be made to an independent purchaser to be approved by the Commissioner of Competition.

The Bureau is satisfied that the sale will resolve the competitive issues arising from the proposed transaction.

The complete consent agreement is available on the website of the Competition Tribunal.

Quick facts

  • On December 22, 2022, Superior and Certarus entered into a definitive agreement whereby Superior would acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Certarus.

  • Superior and Certarus both supply portable heating fuels (propane and natural gas, respectively) over the road to industrial customers in Northern Ontario. This includes mining, construction and forestry customers that lack direct pipeline access.

  • A consent agreement contains remedial measures meant to address the likely anti-competitive effects of a merger. It has the force and effect of a court order once it is registered with the Competition Tribunal.

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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.

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