The Competition Commission recommended yesterday that the Competition Tribunal unconditionally approve the proposed deal by Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) to acquire the aviation fuel supply assets of BP Southern Africa (bpSA) located at the George and King Phalo airports.
The commission found that the proposed transaction was unlikely to result in substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets. It further found that the proposed transaction did not raise any public interest concerns.
The primary acquiring firm is Acsa, which is controlled by the government, through the Department of Transport, which has a majority shareholding. The government also holds shareholding in Acsa indirectly through the Public Investment Corporation. Acsa controls several firms in South Africa.
Acsa owns and operates the nine principal airports, including the George and King Phalo airports, in South Africa. Its mandate is to undertake the acquisition, establishment, maintenance, operation and control of any airport or part of any airport.
Acsa does not engage in aviation fuel supply activities, including at the George and King Phalo airports. It is, however, responsible for appointing aviation fuel supply operators at the airports, the competition body said.
The primary target firm was bpSA in respect of all immovables, movables, vehicles, and equipment belonging to and used by bpSA in its aviation fuel supply operations at the George Airport, in George, Western Cape, and King Phalo Airport, in East London, Eastern Cape.
Its assets included tanks, pipework, pumps, instrumentation, bunded areas, a gantry for loading refuellers and off-loading road bridgers; trucks and buildings, ie, an administration building and a storage facility. bpSA leased the relevant premises at these two airports from Acsa, where it installed all immovable assets and purchased the movable assets required to operate the sites.