• CTC reported 24 merger deals worth a total of US$1 billion in 2022
  • 54% of the deals were foreign companies merging with local companies
  • The manufacturing sector was the most active out of all sectors

HARARE- The Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) reported an impressive 24 merger deals worth a total of US$1 billion in 2022, directly attributing the figure to the government's policies that encouraged and facilitated investor participation in the country.

The foreign companies were from five countries in total (China, Hong Kong, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates and South Africa), with South African firms leading the way. The manufacturing sector was the most active, followed by the mining, agriculture, information and communication, and transport and storage sectors.

In the period under review, CTC approved the unconditional merger of the petroleum firm, Zuva Group and a Dubai-headquartered global energy logistics company, Tristar Transport, after ascertaining that the transaction would not adversely affect competition in the pertinent market.

Tristar is a global business headquartered in Dubai offering end-to-end fuel logistics solutions to blue-chip clients, including international and national oil companies and intergovernmental organisations.

The Commission concluded that the merger did not have a detrimental effect on effective competition in the relevant market, as the transportation services of fuel are highly competitive, with more than 20 major players actively participating.

Furthermore, in April 2022, they were notified of HG Storage International's acquisition by Tristar Transport LLC which added to the merger with Zuva petroleum made earlier.

HGS is a diversified portfolio of strategically located petroleum products storage, throughput and downstream retail assets across major storage hubs and import markets.

Its interests in Zimbabwe are held through ZP Energy Mauritius Limited — incorporated in Mauritius in which HGS holds 70 percent shareholding

Despite operational constraints, the commission conducted thorough investigations and issued orders against firms that breached the Competition Act, as well as punishing the conditional selling of day-old chicks by providers.

Notably, it fined Innscor Africa Limited (Innscor) US$9.1 million for carrying out a merger without its consent.

Last year, the commission strongly denounced the practice of conditional selling of day-old chicks by various suppliers across the country, citing it as exploitative in nature. This is because it obligates farmers to obtain chicks only if they agree to purchase accompanying stock feeds.

Fast forward to 2023, CTC has done numerous protection incentives to contribute towards the competitiveness of the industry as noted by the initiation of the restrictive practices by Cimas medical aid society which the Commission has reason to believe exists or may come into existence.

The Competition and Tariff Commission issued a statement emphasizing that OK Zimbabwe must purchase 85% of their produce from local farmers, under the conditions set by the Competition Regulator for their takeover of three franchises of Food Lovers Market. This demonstrates the Commission's commitment to promoting growth within the market and ensuring that local farmers are provided with the opportunity to benefit from the takeover.

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