Competition Tribunal to hear Takatso, SAA merger case

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The Competition Tribunal will on Tuesday hear a merger case between Takatso Aviation Consortium and the South African Airways (SAA). In May the Competition Commission recommended the tribunal to approve a 51% disposal of SAA shares to Takatso provided that certain conditions are met.

One of the conditions was for the minority partners in the consortium be removed to avoid decreasing competition in the domestic passenger market.

In terms of the deal between Takatso Consortium and SAA, the consortium would obtain 51% of SAA shares and provide a capital injection of R3 billion over two years, while SAA keep 49%.

The hearing will take place at the competition tribunal in Pretoria over two days this week.

Once the hearing is concluded, the Tribunal will in due course give its decision to either approve the merger; or approve the merger subject to any conditions; or prohibit the implementation of the merger.

SAA won’t collapse

In May chairperson of SAA, Derek Hanekom said the airliner will not collapse even if the Takatso Consortium deal does not go through. The airliner says it has posted a historical operating profit for the first time since it was plunged into financial difficulties.

SAA aircraft took to the skies again two years ago, after they were grounded due to financial woes. The airliner’s executives told Parliament that despite the turbulence of the past, there are positive signs of recovery. And, that SAA has posted an operating profit.

“The further good news is that should, and we certainly don’t anticipate because it’s really between the shareholder and the consortium, we don’t have no reason to be jittery about it doesn’t seem to be, but should anything go astray shouldn’t it go through the airliner will not collapse,” Hanekom, elaborates.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it is looking into a complaint against the Takatso Consortium deal.

Hanekom says SAA will not collapse even if the Takatso Consortium deal fails: