Friday, October 18, 2013

CCPC nods Syngenta takeover of MRI Seed, MRI Agro Ltd
By Gift Chanda
Wed 25 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has allowed Switzerland-based Syngenta to purchase MRI Seed Limited and MRI Agro Ltd.

Syngenta, the world's largest maker of crop chemicals, sought to purchase a 100 per cent stake in MRI Seed Zambia Limited and MRI Agro Ltd, the developer, producer and distributor of white corn seed in Zambia.

The CCPC indicated that it granted final conditional authorisation for the proposed acquisition after establishing that the transaction would not lead to distortion of competition in the distribution and sale of crop protection products and the production, distribution and sale of hybrid maize, soybeans and wheat seeds in Zambia.

"The CCPC board established that the two firms were not dominant as their market shares were below 30 per cent in the relevant market and therefore not likely to abuse their dominance after the acquisition," stated CCPC director for consumer and education, Brian Lingela.

"The Board also found that there would be no change in both the seed and crop protection market structures after the acquisition due to the fact that only MRI Seed and MRI Agro were currently operating in the relevant markets and that the acquiring firm was not physically present in Zambia."

The Board granted final approval to the proposed transaction on condition that Syngenta continues to honour existing agreements that MRI Agro and MRI Seed have entered into with the Zambian suppliers and other Zambian third line industries and no jobs are cut by virtue of the transaction for at least one year.

Lingela further stated that CCPC had approved the proposed takeover of Manda Hill Centre Limited by African Land Investment Limited of South Africa on grounds that the transaction would not lead to substantial lessening of competition in the provision of lettable space in shopping mall market in Zambia.

The Board has also granted unconditional authorisation for the acquisition of 20 per cent shares in Madison Finance Company Limited by The Kibo Fund Limited Life Company of Mauritius.

The Kibo Fund is a life company whose main objective is to provide long-term capital to its investors through equity and equity related instruments in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Islands of the Indian Ocean.

Madison Finance Company Limited, a subsidiary of Madison Financial Services Company Limited which is owned by Lawrence Sikutwa and Associates, on the other hand is a Zambia entity involved in the provision of microfinance loans to micro and small medium enterprises and employees of both public and private institutions based on payroll deduction agreement.

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