Tribunal cements PPC acquisition of 3Q Mahuma

The Competition Tribunal yesterday approved without conditions the acquisition by PPC of 3Q Mahuma Concrete, the largest independently owned ready-mix concrete supplier in southern Africa.

The Competition Commission had recommended the tribunal approve the acquisition without conditions, but by late yesterday the tribunal had not communicated its decision.

PPC previously disclosed that it planned to acquire the company for a maximum of R183 million in line with PPC’s new vision for the company to become a world-class supplier of materials and solutions into the basic services sector and for it to establish a vertically integrated materials business.

PPC said that the acquisition would complement its Pronto Readymix business that only had a footprint in Gauteng, with this business unit housing PPC’s ready-mix, aggregates and related building materials businesses to offer clients end-to-end solutions.

3Q Mahuma has branches in Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and Mozambique.
3Q Mahuma was ultimately controlled by Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) and Brait Societas Europaea.

One of the concerns expressed by a competitor was that PPC and 3Q Mahuma would have market dominance in Gauteng and the North West post acquisition.

It was agreed that WBHO would exit as a shareholder in 3Q Mahuma after the acquisition, giving it no influence on the business operations.
The commission’s Zanele Hadebe said there were many ready-mix concrete players in the Gauteng market and the acquisition was unlikely to make PPC a dominant player in the province. She said PPC did not have any ready-mix concrete operations in the North West and only 3Q Mahuma had operations there.

Hadebe said the commission could not find evidence that the transaction was likely to raise competition concerns or raise public interest concerns in terms of job losses.