On 11 April 2012, the Tribunal unconditionally approved a merger involving Transnet’s acquisition of certain immoveable propertyon which the former Durban International Airport was located. Prior to approval, the property was owned by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).
ACSA’s rationale for the transaction was that the airport on the property had been closed and replaced by King Shaka International Airport, which opened in May 2010, 35km north of Durban.
According to Transnet, the transaction is of strategic importance to both Transnet and the South African Government, given a planned phased development of a dug-out port on the property. The port will provide the required capacity to meet the expectant demand created by the Gauteng-Durban corridor.
The Tribunal noted that while the proposed transaction results in an overlap in the market for rentable industrial property within the Durban node, the post-merger market share of Transnet in this market will be less than 10%. In addition, Transnet’s plan to use the property for a planned dig out diminishes any horizontal concerns. The Tribunal therefore found that the proposed transaction was unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant market.
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