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Competition Policy News

Takeover panel clears way for M&R to move on Aveng tie-up amid ongoing ATON opposition

By: Terence Creamer     21st June 2018 Murray & Roberts (M&R) announced on Thursday that it would proceed to further develop a potential tie-up with Aveng after the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) sanctioned the outcome of an earlier shareholder vote, which approved a resolution stating that the proposed Aveng deal was not designed to... 

ATON welcomes tribunal’s M&R voting-rights ruling, despite restrictions

By: Terence Creamer     18th June 2018 Investment company ATON, which is seeking to acquire Murray & Roberts (M&R), has welcomed a Competition Tribunal ruling opening the way for it to vote all its shares at a general meeting at which M&R shareholders will vote on the merits of a proposed transaction with Aveng. The meeting is... 

ATON welcomes tribunal’s M&R voting-rights ruling, despite restrictions

Davies bemoans corruption’s undermining of industrial policy capability

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th June 2018 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies on Monday said corruption undermines industrial policy capabilities.  

Davies bemoans corruption’s undermining of industrial policy capability
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

ATON bemoans M&R’s Competition Tribunal application

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th June 2018 German investment company ATON says JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R) has initiated another ‘frustrating action’ against its offer to acquire all shares in M&R, by trying to prevent ATON from exercising its full rights and voting against M&R’s proposed combination with construction giant Aveng.  

African Open Skies plan putting cart before horse – Nigerian airlines

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2018 Nigerian airlines are not enthusiastic about any rapid implementation of the Single African Air Traffic Market (SAATM). This was made clear at the recent 27th Annual African Aviation Summit (Air Finance Africa) by national industry association Airline Operators of Nigeria CEO Noggie Meggasin.  

Tribunal confirms R40m settlement agreement with Cape Gate

By: Simone Liedtke     7th June 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R40-million settlement agreement with wire and steel manufacturer Cape Gate, following the company’s admission of price fixing, dividing markets and collusive tendering in respect of lightly galvanised wire, nails, wire and various wire products. The... 

Taxi industry calls for subsidies at public transport market inquiry, bemoans planning weakness

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th June 2018 The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) on Monday voiced its concerns about the state of the taxi industry on the first day of the Competition Commission’s land-based public passenger transport market inquiry, which is in its information gathering phase. The inquiry will look at various... 

ATON questions logic of M&R’s proposed ‘poison pill’ Aveng deal

By: Terence Creamer     31st May 2018 Investment company ATON, which is preparing a mandatory offer to buy all the shares in Murray & Roberts (M&R) it does not already own, has reiterated it steadfast opposition to M&R’s proposed acquisition of Aveng, describing the proposed Aveng transaction as a “poison pill” to prevent a takeover... 

ATON questions logic of M&R’s proposed ‘poison pill’ Aveng deal
Photo by Creamer Media
ATON says Aveng transaction would distract M&R from focusing on growth opportunities in mining

M&R says meeting set with ATON to discuss ‘highly strategic’ Aveng deal

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2018 Murray & Roberts (M&R) confirmed on Wednesday that it would be meeting with its largest single shareholder, ATON, to discuss the merits of M&R’s proposed acquisition of Aveng, which it continues to describe as “highly strategic”. No date has been provided for the meeting, which is being pursued... 

M&R says meeting set with ATON to discuss ‘highly strategic’ Aveng deal

Commission approves NBC, ECM merger without conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     30th May 2018 The Competition Commission has approved the proposed transaction, whereby newly-incorporated company North Block Complex (NBC) intends to acquire Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (ECM) in respect of its mining and processing business, the transferred business, without conditions. The transferred business,... 

Commission recommends tribunal approve Sea Harvest, Vikings merger

By: Simone Liedtke     30th May 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that Sea Harvest Corporation’s proposed acquisition of certain fishing rights and assets used in operating the fishing business of Vikings Fishing Holdings, be approved with conditions. The proposed merger, the commission... 

Commission approves Hudaco’s Boltworld acquisition, with conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     30th May 2018 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... 

As ATON prepares mandatory offer, M&R board says higher price still ‘undervalues’ company

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2018 The takeover battle for engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) by German investment company ATON intensified this week with ATON announcing its intention to make a new mandatory offer, following a Takeover Special Committee (TSC) ruling instructing ATON to withdraw its earlier... 

As ATON prepares mandatory offer, M&R board says higher price still ‘undervalues’ company

ATON ‘open to engage’ with M&R board as offers is made mandatory

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2018 German investment company ATON has increased its offer price to Murray & Roberts (M&R) shareholders to R17 a share from R15 previously and the family-owned group has also confirmed that it will convert its voluntary offer to a mandatory one. ATON’s announcement follows a two-day hearing of the... 

ATON ‘open to engage’ with M&R board as offers is made mandatory

M&R hopes to convince ATON of commercial merits of Aveng tie-up

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2018 Murray & Roberts (M&R) CEO Henry Laas says he will make every effort to convince its largest shareholder ATON – the German family-owned business, which owns 39% of the company and which has made a firm offer to acquire majority control of the South African engineering and construction group – of... 

M&R hopes to convince ATON of commercial merits of Aveng tie-up
Photo by Creamer Media
M&R CEO Henry Laas

Africa’s air traffic liberalisation journey continues, after 30 difficult years

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th May 2018 In November 1988, the Ministers responsible for civil aviation in 40 African countries agreed a declaration on a new African air transport policy. This was immediately designated the Yamoussoukro Declaration, after the city in which it was adopted (the capital of Ivory Coast). Among other things,... 

Africa’s air traffic liberalisation journey continues, after 30 difficult years

Commission invites participation in public passenger transport market inquiry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2018 The Competition Commission will, from June to August, hold public hearings as part of its inquiry into the public passenger transport market and is inviting market participants, the public and other interested groups to take part.  

Electric cable association to pay penalty for price-fixing

By: Simone Liedtke     11th May 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a settlement agreement with the Association of Electric Cable Manufacturers South Africa (AECMSA) relating to its involvement in fixing the selling price of electric power cables. Customers affected by the contravention were primarily State-owned Eskom, as... 

R11.6bn in fines and merger conditions secured since 2010, Patel reports

By: Terence Creamer     10th May 2018 Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel reports that R11.6-billion has been mobilised as a result of cartel settlements and conditions placed on firms that have pursued mergers and acquisitions in South Africa since 2010, with commitments worth a further R11-bilion have been secured in... 

R11.6bn in fines and merger conditions secured since 2010, Patel reports
Photo by Creamer Media
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

NCS Resins faces R29m competition fine

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th May 2018 Unsaturated polyester resin manufacturer NCS Resins has agreed to pay a R29.7-million fine for alleged price-fixing and market division.  

South African farmers take AB InBev to competition watchdog

By: Reuters     7th May 2018 Farmers in South Africa have filed a complaint with the country's competition watchdog about Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to change its pricing formula for buying malt barley, a key ingredient in beer making. The farmers lobby group Grain South Africa believes AB InBev, the world's biggest... 

Petroleum product suppliers settle information sharing complaint

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th May 2018 South African petroleum product suppliers have, under a settlement agreement with the Competition Tribunal, agreed to change how they share information.  

Mondi acquires two KwaZulu-Natal plantations

By: Simone Liedtke     20th April 2018 JSE-listed pulp and paper producer Mondi has acquired the Draycott and Greytown timber plantations, in KwaZulu-Natal, from World Hardwood. The Competition Tribunal on Thursday approved the transaction, after the Competition Commission determined that it was unlikely to substantially prevent or... 

Competition Commission wins international award

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th April 2018 The Competition Commission has won the Agency of the Year in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa award at the eighth annual Global Competition Review (GCR) Awards held in Washington DC, in the US.  

Commission’s LPG Market Inquiry recommendation yields positive outcomes

By: Simone Liedtke     12th April 2018 The Competition Commission has accepted the withdrawal of a complaint by propellants supplier Puregas against liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) manufacturer and supplier Shell Downstream for unfair business practices, after Puregas was able to secure a supply agreement on favourable terms.   In... 

Extreme inequality in South Africa is constraining growth and investment  

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2018 New analysis by the World Bank has confirmed that South Africa’s is not only the world’s most unequal country, but that extreme inequality has become a major constraint to higher levels of economic growth, because it is undermining policy certainty and depressing investment. The bank’s latest... 

Extreme inequality in South Africa is constraining growth and investment
World Bank program leader Sebastien Dessus and country director Paul Noumba Um on the negative impact that extreme inequality in South Africa is having on growth and investment. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer. Recorded: 10.4.2018

Motseng agrees to R200 000 penalty for bid rigging in fabric supply tenders

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th April 2018 The Competition Tribunal on Wednesday confirmed a consent agreement with Motseng Investment Holdings to pay a R200 000 penalty with its now-closed subsidiary Motseng Trading, for the subsidiary’s involvement in the bid rigging of tenders issued by the National Treasury and the Armaments... 

Tribunal approves AECI’s R2.27bn buyout of Much Asphalt

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd April 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved AECI’s proposed acquisition of asphalt manufacturer and supplier Much Asphalt without conditions, despite the merging parties’ vertical relationship. AECI announced in October 2017 that it would acquire Much Asphalt for R2.27-billion. 

Caffeluxe admits to fixing coffee capsule prices

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2018 Sweet River Trading, which trades as Caffeluxe, has admitted to fixing the prices of coffee capsules to retail customers. The complaint, which was initiated in July 2015, relates to a discount offered by international coffee specialist Global Coffee Export in Checkers stores in 2014, where... 

Minister seeks better monitoring of local procurement compliance

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th March 2018 South Africa has seen a slippage in State entities’ compliance with local procurement regulations, which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) seeks to rectify by introducing a tougher consequence management system. Trade and IndustryMinister Dr Rob Davies said on Thursday that corruption... 

Minister seeks better monitoring of local procurement compliance
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies

Regulation still a constraint, despite potential benefits of IoT

By: Schalk Burger     14th March 2018 The regulatory framework and new regulations governing the applications and use of new technologies is still restrictive and does not make allowance for Internet of Things (IoT) use cases that can improve efficiencies and benefit civil society, speakers at the IoT Forum Africa, in Midrand, said... 

Commission refers Takata to tribunal for alleged price fixing, collusive tendering

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th March 2018 The Competition Commission has asked the Competition Tribunal to prosecute global airbag and seatbelt manufacturer Takata Corporation and its South African subsidiary Takata South Africa (SA) for alleged price fixing, market division and collusive tendering. An investigation by the commission... 

Tribunal approves Sinopec’s $900m acquisition of Chevron SA with conditions

By: Nadine James     9th March 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved Hong Kong-based Sinopec’s proposed $900-million acquisition of a 75% interest in Chevron South Africa (CSA), subject to a range of employment, investment and other public interest conditions. Sinopec and CSA had tendered a set of proposed conditions, which... 

Commission approves Thebe Renewable Energy’s acquisition of four energy firms

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th March 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that Thebe Renewable Energy Holdings’s proposed acquisition of Phembani Solar Energy, Phembani Renewables, Shanduka Black Umbrellas Energy and Pulida Energy, be approved.  

Competition Commission prohibits Airlink-Safair merger, companies to challenge ruling

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2018 The Competition Commission on Friday said that it prohibited the proposed merger between SA Airlink and Safair Operations because the transaction was likely to result in a substantial prevention of competition. SA Airlink is the largest independent regional airline in southern Africa and operates... 

Tribunal confirms Plasser’s R8.43m settlement with Competition Commission

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed an R8.43-million settlement agreement between railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa and the Competition Commission.    On February 2014, the commission initiated a complaint against Lennings DEC Rail, a subsidiary of Aveng Africa,... 

Tribunal approves sale of Genrec to Southern Palace

By: Anine Kilian     22nd February 2018 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved Southern Palace Group’s (SPG’s) acquisition of Genrec from Murray & Roberts (M&R). M&R in October last year agreed to sell Genrec to SPG for R185-million. 

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