SA competition watchdog approves acquisition of Alzu Agri by govt owned asset manager

SOUTH AFRICA – The Competition Commission of South Africa has approved the proposed acquisition of Alzu Agri, an agribusiness and healthcare organisation by PIC – on behalf of the (Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) – without conditions.

Alzu is a diversified agricultural and agro-processing group that is involved in, maize production, animal feed production and cattle and pig breeding or genetics, among others. 

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The Commission said that it found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets.

The Commission further noted that the proposed transaction does not raise any public interest concerns.   

The PIC is an asset management company whose clients are public sector entities such as the GEPF. The PIC holds interest in various listed and unlisted entities on behalf of its clients such as PhilAfrica Foods (PhilAfrica), RCL Foods Ltd (RCL); Berlin Beef (Pty) Ltd (Berlin Beef); and Astral Foods Ltd (Astral).  

PhilAfrica focuses on the operation of maize and wheat mills, oilseed crushing and refining plants, and animal feed manufacturing plants.

RCL is involved in the production of fresh and frozen poultry products, groceries, distribution, sales solutions, supply chain services and warehousing.  

Astral Foods on the other hand, is fully integrated within the poultry industry with activities ranging from the manufacturing of animal feeds, broiler genetics, production and sale of day-old chicks, operation of hatcheries as well as an abattoir and processing plants for poultry products.  

Alzu Agri, owns and controls various firms within the agricultural industry. Alzu uses a specially formulated mielie planting system, implemented in 2006, to improve production.

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According to the company the system allows a crop canopy to form quickly, retaining more moisture and ensuring better weed control. As an increase in foliage ensures a greater surface area it allows for more exposure to sunlight. 

Cultivar trails are annually conducted on a variety of mielie strains in order to determine which strains are most adaptable to the area; provides optimum yield and quality product. These crops are managed according new and precision farming methods, the agribusiness firm says. 

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