Sky News business editor Ross Greenwood says Sigma Pharmaceuticals has tried to buy more shares in Australian Pharmaceutical Industries in a bid to “stave off” Wesfarmers.

The move comes after Wesfarmers, the owner of Bunnings Warehouse, earlier this week increased its shares in API to 19.3 per cent.

“Now, we’ve had a look at the pharmacy industry in Australia, we think it’s quite similar to the way that the hardware business was set up just before Wesfarmers and Bunnings entered it in Australia and now dominates it,” Mr Greenwood told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

“So it’s quite interesting to note, there’s a lot of individual players.

“So what’s happened is Sigma Pharmaceuticals, and it’s got Amcal, for example, has actually now tried to buy more of this company, API – Priceline- to try and stave off, if you like, Wesfarmers from getting into the business.”

“It’s … about how you try and keep a giant out of your industry at the same time that they’re trying to get in,” he said.

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