Competition Commission Approves 6 Acquisitions

The Eswatini Competition Commission has disclosed that it approved six acquisitions in the last quarter of 2022/23.

According to the Commission’s report, the total value of approved international transactions for the aforementioned period stood at approximately E2 237 244 303.00 while the total transactional value for domestic transactions was approximately E53 063 000.00.

“The total combined annual turnover of both international and domestic transactions stood at approximately E552 453 895 896.00. The sectors include commercial property, insurance, agriculture, construction, and wildlife sectors in Eswatini”.

One of the six mergers and acquisitions reported by the Commission is an acquisition by CIH Projects LTD of 100% of the shares of PAMTRO Investments as well as the remaining shares in CONLOG LTD.

The acquiring firm, CIH41 is a special-purpose vehicle that does not have any employees or conduct any business operations and has its principal business in, Pretoria, South Africa.

The target firms are Conlog; Pamtro; Conlog Metering Solutions; and CIG Metering and their operations are based in Durban, South Africa at the Dube Trade Port with satellite offices in Lagos, Nigeria, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Commission considered the products of the firms and concluded that the relevant market is the supply of smart electricity meters and ancillary services in Eswatini.

The Commission approved the acquisition without conditions, citing that there are no overlaps between the activities of the merging parties in the relevant market because the acquiring firm does not manufacture, and supply or distribute electricity meters in Eswatini.

One transaction that was approved with conditions is the acquisition by Lionshead and the Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation for shares in In Enviro Applied Products from Nutriflo.

Lionshead is a company registered by the company laws of Eswatini which has its registered office at the Tibiyo Insurance House in Zulwini. Lionshead focuses on the manufacture of agricultural inputs in Eswatini and is an existing shareholder in the target firm with 50% shares.

RES on the other hand is a grower and miller of sugar cane carrying on business in Simunye, Mhlume, and Tshaneni in the eastern part of Eswatini. Its major business is to plant and grow sugar cane.

The mature cane is converted into sugar. RES also produces electricity which is used amongst other things to run its boilers in its factory.

The target firm was EAP, a company incorporated in terms of the company laws of Eswatini. EAP is a fertilizer vending company that manufactures CMS-based liquid fertilizer. The company acquires its CMS from RES which is the acquirer in this transaction.   

The Commission notes that it approved the transaction with conditions as there is a concern that arises due to the verticality which may give the merging parties the ability and incentive to invoke input foreclosure strategies as far as the distribution of CMS-based liquid fertilizers.

Other approved transactions in the quarter include;

·        Acquisition by the Mkhaya Trust (“Mkhaya’’) of the entire Issued Share Capital Of Ingwavuma Estates Proprietary Limited (“Ingwavuma Estates’’). The transaction was approved without conditions.

·        Acquisition by Leif 853 (“Leif 853”) of the entire Issued Share Capital Of Zimco Group (Pty) Ltd (“Zimco Group”). The transaction was approved without conditions.

·        Acquisition By Lidwala Insurance Company Limited Of United Health Insurance Limited’s Health Book. The transaction was approved without conditions.

·        Acquisition by Spark ATM Systems of the Entire Banking Business of Altron Managed Solution. The transaction was approved without conditions.

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