DPE Minister welcomes approval of SAA strategic equity partner

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has welcomed the decision by the Competition Commission to grant conditional approval of the transaction through which Takatso Aviation Proprietary Limited (“Takatso”) will buy a 51% shareholding in South African Airways SOC Limited (SAA).

“The announcement by the Competition Commission marks a significant step towards the completion of the deal that will strengthen SAA, provide the airline with the necessary capital to continue implementing its growth strategy and become a vital economic enabler for the country,” Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, said on Friday.

The transaction has been under review by the Competition Commission since June 2022.

With this conditional approval, the transaction has now been referred to the Competition Tribunal for its consideration and final adjudication.

“The approval by the Competition Commission also sends a very strong message about the government’s commitment and efforts to revitalize state-owned enterprises so that they can stand on their own, and help the country meet its developmental goals,” Gordhan said.

In approving the transaction, and following extensive discussions between the parties, the Competition Commission noted that the parties have agreed a moratorium on merger-related retrenchments, which underscores the DPE’s commitment to ensure that State-owned enterprises are capacitated and optimised in a manner that is consistent with government’s socio-economic and developmental objectives.

If the Tribunal approves the merger, the remaining 49% shareholding in SAA will be retained by the DPE as the shareholder representative of government.

“This approval will also add vigour and impetus to the efforts by the recently appointed interim board of directors to make SAA more agile, innovative and more customer-oriented,” the Minister said.

Source: South African Government News Agency