THE Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) has approved the acquisition of Rössing Uranium Limited by China National Uranium Cooporation (CNUC)but added stringent conditions to the sale.
The acquisition will see CNUC acquire 69% of the issued share capital of Rio Tinto Overseas Holding Limited (RTNH) thereby gaining control over Rössing Uranium Limited (RUL).
Vitalis Ndalikokule Chief Executive Officer & Secretary to the Commission said the Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in the prevention or substantial lessening of competition or in any undertaking acquiring or strengthening a dominant position in the relevant market.
Ndalikokule however stressed that the Commission found that the proposed merger does give rise to significant public interest concerns such as employment, the bundling of tenders for outsourced services, goods, and/or products, transfer pricing and dominance of the local uranium sector.
He stated that in order to safeguard employment, local procurement and maintain benefits currently derived in terms of taxes and royalties, the Commission imposed a list of conditions.
Listing these conditions, the NaCC instructed that: there shall be no Merger Specific Retrenchments of employees of RUL for a period of two years.
In addition, the Competition Commission ruled that RUL shall maintain a ratio of at least 95% local employees to foreign employees until the expiry of the lifespan of the mine, this including Management levels as well.
RUL shall not employ any non-Namibian person at the level of Management on•ariy basis other than on a two-year fixed term contract;
RUL shall not implement any changes to its 30 July 2013 Procurement Policy which will have the effect of providing for less favourable terms to local supplier until the expiry of the lifespan of the mine.
Furthermore the commission stated that to benefit local Namibian SMEs for procurement of any services, goods or products below a value of N$250 000.
The competition commission also directed that RUL shall procure a minimum of 80% of any such services, goods or products from companies which: are majority Namibian owned and registered and employ a minimum of 75% Namibian citizens.
Rössing Uranium Limited (RUL) is involved in mining uranium-bearing rock and processing this ore into uranium oxide for the world’s nuclear energy market, which fuels the generation of electricity.
CNUC and its parent company is active globally in various businesses, including Nuclear Power Generation, Nuclear Power Plant Construction, Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing, Nuclear Technology and Uranium mining and renewable energy.