Bidvest fined for jumping the gun

Bidvest has agreed to pay a R2m fine for taking control of Adcock before the merger between the two companies was approved by the Competition Tribunal.

In terms of the Competition Act, it is a contravention of the merger provisions to implement a large merger before getting the required approval from the tribunal. The commission is allowed to pass fines of only up to 10% of a company’s total revenue and the tribunal will consider which year of revenue the 10% will be deducted from.

During investigations into the merger, which was approved in August 2014, the merging firms initially denied allegations that the takeover had taken place before approval, saying it would occur once approved and Bidvest had acquired further shares in Adcock beyond the 34.5% it already had when the merger was filed.