On 28th May 2014, the Commission received an application for negative clearance for the acquisition of Group Development Limited (GDL) by Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company of India. GDL was a parent company for Naming’omba and Mafisi Tea Estates.
The proposed transaction was assessed by the Commission in line with the provisions of Competition and Fair Trading Act and found that the acquisition would not likely result in substantial lessening of competition in Malawi as the acquiring party had no commercial presence in Malawi.
The Commission also found that the transaction would create public interest benefits through resuscitation of the operations of Naming’omba and Mafisi Tea Estates since prior to the transaction GDL was going under. It was also revealed that the sale of GDL would assist NBS Bank recover its money since the entity had an outstanding loan with the Bank. The Bank needed the money to prop up its liquidity position in order to comply with the Basel II requirements.
On those premises, the transaction was approved by the Commission on its 39th Meeting held on 4th August, 2014.