The South African Competition Commission (SACC) recently conditionally approved the intermediate merger between Lafarge and Holcim.
The SACC imposed a condition on the transaction which requires that Holcim sell its share in Afrisam within the next three years. (Afrisam, together with PPC Ltd, is one of the top two cement producers in South Africa).
Over and above the shareholding in Afrisam, up until recently, Afrisam and Holcim had an agreement in terms of which Holcim rendered certain technical assistance to Afrisam. The SACC found that, due Holcim’s shareholding in Afrisam and the afirementioned agreement between Afrisam and Holcim, Holcim had access to commercially sensitive information belonging to Afrisam which could lead to anti-competitive effects. Accordingly, the condition was imposed.
The merger is part of a global integration between Holcim and LaFarge, the world’s top two cement producers, to become the world’s biggest cement manufacturer.
The SACC recently announced that the merging parties have filed a request for reconsideration of the SACC’s conditional approval and accordingly the merger will be considered afresh before the South African Competition Tribunal.