THE COMPETITION Tribunal on Friday confirmed it had approved the R8.5 billion acquisition by Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa (ALLISA) of Sasol’s 16 air separation units (ASUs) in Secunda, Mpumalanga, with certain public interest conditions.
The tribunal said among the conditions was a commitment to enter into a transaction that would promote a greater spread of ownership by introducing a broad-based black economic empowerment shareholding into Air Liquide.
In addition, the tribunal required that, where reasonable and practically and technically feasible, Air Liquide procure from small, medium and micro enterprises and black-owned businesses when upgrading the ASUs.
The tribunal said Air Liquide committed to no merger-related retrenchments for a two-year period, even though the transaction would not negatively impact employment. “In addition, ALLISA will spend approximately R20 million to train and upskill employees transferred from Sasol,” said the tribunal.
Air Liquide also made a commitment to make excess liquid oxygen available to customers in the healthcare sector - prioritising, on fair and reasonable terms, supply to the public healthcare sector.
Other conditions were preferential procurement and supplier development.