PG Bison, a business under KAP Diversified Industrial, was found guilty by the competition commission last year for engaging in cartel activity by fixing prices with its competitor Sonae Auraco between 2009 and 2016. Photo: IANS
PG Bison, a business under KAP Diversified Industrial, was found guilty by the competition commission last year for engaging in cartel activity by fixing prices with its competitor Sonae Auraco between 2009 and 2016. Photo: IANS

Commission won't oppose the filed stay application for PG Bison

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Feb 7, 2020

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DURBAN – KAP Industrial Holdings’ subsidiary PG Bison said on Thursday that the Competition Commission had indicated it would not oppose its stay application filed with the Competition Tribunal in December, resulting from its historical fine imposed by the commission.

PG Bison, a business under KAP Diversified Industrial, was found guilty by the competition commission last year for engaging in cartel activity by fixing prices with its competitor Sonae Auraco between 2009 and 2016.

The commission found that KAP and Sonae Auraco fixed prices, the percentage of price increases, and what prices should be charged to top clients between 2009 and 2016.

KAP, through its PG Bison operations, and Sonae are the largest manufacturers of wood-based panel products in South Africa that are used to build commodities such as cupboards, furniture and caskets.

Sonae Arauco admitted liability and agreed to pay a R46.9 million fine, while KAP Diversified Industrial filed an application in the high court to review and set aside the competition commission's findings.

KAP was under the control of Steinhoff International during the period of its conduct when it allegedly entered into cartel activities.

This comes after the commission refused to grant PG Bison immunity in terms of the commission's corporate leniency policy.

The commission had recommended to the tribunal to impose an administrative penalty of 10 percent on PG Bison’s annual turnover.

PG Bison reported an 11.63 percent increase in revenue to R4.03 billion and operating profit of R806m for the year to end June.

The group’s other two divisions are Diversified Logistics and Diversified Chemical.

In November, the commission referred a complaint against KAP to the tribunal, alleging collusive conduct and requesting a penalty of 10 percent of KAP’s annual turnover.

However, in December KAP filed a stay application with the competition tribunal to suspend the hearing of the alleged collusive conduct, pending the outcome of KAP’s review application.

“The commission has since indicated that it would not oppose the stay application. The review application is in the early stages.

"KAP will continue to update shareholders of developments in this matter,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

KAP said it had always maintained that it co-operated with the commission since the initiation of this complaint in 2016.

BUSINESS REPORT

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