Comesa expects to receive more mergers this year

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission is expecting to receive more mergers this year on the back of resurgence in the global economy.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

Comesa competition Commission manager (mergers and acquisition) Willard Mwemba, said the resurgence of the global economy and Africa’s rising middle class was creating a bigger market hence more companies were entering the market.

In 2015 the commission had 21 mergers. For Zimbabwe, 11 mergers were assessed by the commission.

“This year slightly over the half year mark, the commission has 8 mergers affecting Zimbabwe. The situation is the same at common market level. In 2015, the commission only dealt with 21 mergers. This year the commission has already dealt with a total of 18 mergers,” he said.

Mwemba said 100 transactions were assessed by the commission since 2014 corresponding to a turnover of over $19 billion for the market, and Zimbabwe received $800 million since 2014 in mergers and acquisition. He said there has been a shift in mergers and acquisitions since 2014 where the major sector was construction, ICT and telecommunications, banking and financial services.

He said Kenya and Zambia were the major countries that had mergers and acquisitions deals in the common market compared to other countries.

“Evidently, Zambia and Kenya have been receiving much more mergers because of their highly liberal market policies. These two economies are among the most liberalized in Africa and therefore multinational corporations and local companies find it easier to establish and operate there,” Mwemba said.

He, however, said Zimbabwe was on the third position on the list of mergers and acquisition at the moment and on the third position surpassing Mauritius.

Mwemba said while the commission has jurisdiction over mergers with a regional dimension that meet the notification thresholds, reluctance by some member states to accept supremacy of regional competition law over national competition law. He said there was a slow pace in the harmonisation of laws by member states.

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