- Says proposed transaction is not likely to result in substantial lessening of competition
The Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA) has unconditionally approved the proposed acquisition by Premium Nickel Resources (Pty) Ltd (PNRB) of certain assets of the business of BCL Limited (BCL), which is in liquidation, more particularly certain business assets related to Selebi Mines.
BCL has been in liquidation since October 2016 under the care of the Liquidator, Trevor Glaum, who has assumed the powers of the company’s board of directors. Prior to its liquidation, BCL mined and produced nickel-copper-cobalt (Ni-Cu-Co) at the BCL Mine site. It was exported out of Botswana to international markets such as Norway.
“The Authority discovered that the transaction assessed is not expected to substantially lessen competition due to the absence of product overlaps in the activities of the merging parties,” reads a statement signed by the CEO of CCA, Tebelelo Pule.
“The merger is not expected to result in the reduction of the number of players in the market, hence will not affect the structure of the market. Furthermore, the proposed merger will not have any negative effect on public interest matters in Botswana as per the provisions of Section 52(2) of the Competition Act 2018.”
With regards to public interest considerations, CCA states that an assessment has concluded that the proposed transaction will not have an adverse effect on levels of employment in Botswana.
“Following the liquidation of BCL, at least 5 000 workers of BCL were retrenched with 480 staff remaining for purpose of providing security and care and maintenance activities,” the statement reads. “Accordingly, the proposed transaction will result in a gradual increase in employment and resuscitate the town of Selebi-Phikwe post implementation.”
The primary acquiring enterprise, PNRB, is a limited liability company duly incorporated in terms of the company laws of Botswana. PNRB is wholly owned by PNR Selebi (Barbados) Limited (PNR Barbados). PNR Barbados is in turn owned by PNR International Limited (PNR International), which is wholly owned by Premium Nickel Resource Corporation.
According to CCA, PNRB does not directly or indirectly control any enterprise in Botswana but is a special purpose vehicle that was incorporated for the purpose of acquiring the Selebi assets. PNRB does not have any activities in Botswana and does not produce or sell any products into or from Botswana.
The target enterprise comprises certain assets of the business of BCL, a limited liability company incorporated under the laws of Botswana. BCL is wholly owned by Minerals Development Company Botswana (Pty) Ltd (MDCB), which is in turn wholly owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana.