The Competition Commission has approved, with conditions, the proposed merger whereby industrial supplies company Hudaco intends to acquire industrial equipment supplier Boltworld.
The commission does not believe the proposed transaction will substantially prevent or lessen competition in any relevant market, but expressed concern that some employees may be retrenched owing to role duplications.
Hudaco and Boltworld were not able to demonstrate that the proposed retrenchments had been determined subject to a rational process and pursuant to consultation with the affected employees, the commission said.
Therefore, the commission was particularly concerned that some of the employees earmarked for retrenchment were semi-skilled or unskilled workers who would struggle to find alternative employment in the short term.
In order to address this concern, the commission approved the proposed acquisition subject to conditions placing a moratorium on merger specific retrenchments for a period of two years from the date of implementation of the proposed merger.
The operating division of Hudaco relevant for the purposes of assessing the proposed transaction is Rutherford, which imports and distributes a vast range of industrial fasteners and allied products.
The proposed transaction does not raise any other public interest concerns, the commission noted on Wednesday.