Companies scramble for mergers

THE Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) is working on five mergers since the beginning of the year and expects more if the economy remains depressed, an executive has said.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

CTC assistant director, Benjamin Chinhengo said the commission has not opened a year as busy as it has been in 2016, as it was looking at five mergers.

“We usually have three mergers for the first quarter and this year, we have had five mergers so far and we expect them to increase as the year progresses.
Challenges in the economy have made many companies to merge due to shortages of capital. Most of the cases that we approved have foreign partners,” he said.

The mergers that are on the cards so far include National Foods and Pure Oil, National Foods and Breathe Away, Takura and Food Lovers Market (the company wants to buy Borrowdale and Bulawayo Food Lovers Market), Takura and Cairns merger and Food Lovers Market and Actis, a South African company.

food-lovers

In 2015, CTC approved 16 mergers, with the bulk of them from the agriculture sector.

The mergers include Iliad Africa Limited and Steinhoff doors and building materials proprietary, Olivine Industries and Wilma, Prime Seeds and Seed Co, Pioneer Seeds and Pannar seeds, Continental Outdoor and JCDecaux South Africa, Autoworld and Paza Buster commodity brokers and Anchor Yeast and Lesaffre (Private) Limited, among others.

A number of companies have merged since 2009 to mitigate the economic challenges, as well as boost capital for operations.

The country adopted the multi-currency system in 2009 and liquidity has remained a major challenge as Zimbabwe failed to attract significant capital inflows due to the debt overhang.

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