The merger between black-owned Devland Cash and Carry (Pty) Ltd and Massmart’s Masscash stores was approved by the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday with the imposed condition that none of the 600-plus employees are to be affected by the sale.

“Although the Competition Commission recommended unconditional approval of the transaction (and the merger parties undertook that there would not be any retrenchments as a result of the merger), the Tribunal has imposed a condition that no employees will be retrenched as a result of the merger for a period of nine months following the transaction’s implementation date”, the watchdog said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Devland owns and controls several firms that are active in the retail and wholesale trade of groceries and related products. The target stores are mainly grocery retail stores located in various parts of the country.

Greater spread of ownership
Devland is owned and controlled by two historically disadvantaged persons and as such, the merger is poised to have “a positive effect on the promotion of a greater spread of ownership, in particular to increase the levels of ownership by HDPs and workers in the grocery market”.

No competition concerns
“The Tribunal has agreed with the Commission’s assessment that that the merger is unlikely to lead any substantial lessening or prevention of competition in any market in South Africa”.