Commission conditionally approves Oceana's
acquisition of certain interests and assets in the fishing and cold
On 9 July 2012 the Competition Commission (Commission)
conditionally approved two separate but related transactions in
terms of which Oceana Group Limited (acting through subsidiary
companies) acquired interests, shares and assets in the fishing and
cold storage industries from various companies within the African
Marine Products (Proprietary) Limited Group (AMP), Phambili Fishing
(Proprietary) Limited (Phambili) and Bato Star Fishing
(Proprietary) Limited (Bato Star).
The main transaction involved the sale of fishing interests,
businesses, shares and assets by Oceana Group Limited (Oceana),
acting through its wholly owned subsidiaries Blue Continent
Products (Proprietary) Limited (BCP) and Oceana Lobster Limited
(Oceana Lobster). This transaction involved acquisitions from
various companies within the AMP, Phambili and Bato Star. Various
acquisitions were made in respect of the sole, hake, south coast
rock lobster and horse mackerel markets.
Upon investigation of the effect of the transaction on the
relevant markets, the Commission concluded that the transaction was
unlikely to result in anti-competitive effects as long as third
parties that have existing catching arrangements with the target
entities would continue to have access to fishing vessels in order
to catch their quotas.
The second transaction, which constituted a small merger, involved
the acquisition by Oceana's subsidiary Commercial Cold Storage
(Proprietary) Limited (CCS) of the cold store business of V&A
Cold Store (Proprietary) Limited (V&A). V&A's cold
storage facilities are located at the Cape Town quayside. CCS owns
and manages public refrigerated warehouse facilities in the main
industrial centres and harbours of South Africa.
In its assessment of the effects of the merger on competition, the
Commission defined the relevant market as the quayside cold storage
market for loose fish and fish destined for the export market. The
transactions were approved subject to conditions, which in the case
of the fishing transaction related to employment, and in respect of
the cold store transaction concerned access to cold store
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