Competition Commission recommends go-ahead for Absa, Société Générale deal

The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that it give the green light to a proposed merger that will see Absa acquiring target assets from Société Générale.

In a statement issued on Friday morning, the Commission said it would recommend approval without conditions.

The Competition Commission noted: "The activities of Absa relevant for the purposes of assessing this merger are derivatives clearing services.

"The Target Assets are active in the financial securities services, which comprises custody services, trustee services, derivatives clearing services securities and treasury operations."

Explaining why it recommended approval without conditions, it added that the proposed transaction was unlikely to result in substantial prevention or lessening of competition in these markets. The proposed transaction also did not raise public interest concerns, it said.

Earlier in 2019, Absa announced it would be partnering with Société Générale to form a "pan-African wholesale banking offering" in what the bank described as part of advancing its growth strategy.

According to Absa, the partnership would leverage both banks' geographical strengths and expertise, offering a range of banking products and services to international and domestic corporate clients and financial institutions with operations in Africa. 

Then-Absa CEO Maria Ramos said the agreement would enable clients to do business in Africa "regardless of where they want to do business".

"For Absa, the acquisition supports our growth strategy in Africa," she said. 
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