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Tegeta's Optimum coal mine acquisition approved

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World Coal,

The Competition Tribunal has approved the takeover of Optimum Coal Holding Ltd’s (OCH) Optimum coal mine (OCM) and six other target firms by Tegeta Exploration and Resources on the condition that there would be no merger-specific retrenchments.

Tegeta is owned by Mabengela Investments (Pty) Ltd and Oakbay Investments (Pty) Ltd, the holding company for the Gupta family’s businesses.

Both OCM and OCH are in business rescue.

The Competition Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in the thermal coal market.

The Commission has recommended that the proposed transaction be approved on condition that the merging parties will not retrench any employees of the target firms as a result of the merger.

Nazeem Howa, Chief Executive of Oakbay Investments, said: “We are delighted that the Competition Tribunal has ruled on the merger. Through this transaction we have prevented the loss of more than 3000 jobs, by heading off an almost certain liquidation. We are committed to the future sustainability of Optimum and look forward to announcing our strategy for the business going forward.”

Once the transaction is completed, Tegeta will supply a maximum of 5% of Eskom’s total coal supply.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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