CTC receives 7 merger applications... sets tough conditions for Bikita Minerals, Sinomine deal

Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC)

THE Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) received seven merger applications for approval during the third quarter of last year from the manufacturing, finance, insurance, agriculture and mining sectors.

These transactions, contained in the latest CTC report, include Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe's purchase by Fossil Mines, the acquisition of Ndoro Microbank Bank by InnBucks, the purchase of Fifty-Four Plymouth Road by Surjay, and the purchase of Macro Enterprises by Crail Enterprises.

The commission also received merger applications involving the purchase of Charles Stewart Day Old Chicks by Shanksville Farming, the purchase of Annunaki Investments by Shanksville Farming and the purchase of Bilboes Gold by Caledonia Mining Corporation.

The acquisition of Bikita Minerals by Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co, and the indirect acquisition of Zuva Petroleum by Tristar Transport LLC were also completed during the period under review.

The commission granted conditional approval for Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co to acquire Bikita Minerals during the quarter. The commission was informed in February 2022 that Africa Minerals (Afmin) and Amzim Minerals Limited (Amzim) would be fully acquired.

Afmin and Amzim control 70,3% and 29,7%, respectively, of the issued share capital of Zimbabwe-based lithium mining business Bikita Minerals (Bikita Minerals). Sinomine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinomine Resources Group Co (Sinomine Group), a Chinese provider of mining services.

Through its subsidiaries, it engages in geotechnical services, the development of mineral properties, and the exploitation of rare light mineral resources (lithium, cesium and rubidium).

The CTC set various requirements before approving the US$180 million transaction between Bikita Minerals and Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co.

It mandated that, if it is economically feasible, Bikita Minerals, its subsidiaries, affiliates, and successors-in-title sell lithium concentrates to any user who may be available in Zimbabwe on non-discriminatory terms and conditions.

Additionally, the company was instructed to commit to producing high-purity lithium from lithium concentrates within five years of obtaining the commission's ruling.

The business should continue to implement corporate social responsibility initiatives and programs, such as building Zesa's Tokwe Station, helping to rebuild Birchenough Bridge, and implementing philanthropic social responsibility programs in Bikita that benefit local communities, government agencies, clinics, and schools.

A month after obtaining the commission's decision, it must also submit to the CTC an implementation plan of these requirements. It must also start a year after receiving the CTC's decision by submitting an annual compliance report detailing how the requirements here were met.

The agreement between Zuva and Tristar was accepted without conditions.

A global company with its headquarters in Dubai, Tristar, informed the CTC in April 2022 that it had acquired the issued ordinary shares of HG Storage International (HGS). Tristar provides end-to-end fuel logistics solutions to high-profile clients, including international and national oil companies as well as intergovernmental organizations.

HGS is a diverse portfolio of carefully chosen downstream retail, throughput, and storage assets for petroleum products spread throughout significant storage hubs and import markets.

Through ZP Energy Mauritius Limited, a Mauritius-based company in which HGS owns a 70% stake, it holds its interests in Zimbabwe. Through the Zuva Group, HGS runs distribution and downstream retail networks in Zimbabwe.

CTC also reported about seven more merger deals that had an impact on the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission on both sides of the border.

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