Competition Commission okays PTC takeover

Competition Commission okays PTC takeover

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) says it authorised the acquisition of 100 percent shares in People’s Trading Centre (PTC) by Tafika Holdings Limited discussion.

This is according to a statement issued yesterday signed by CFTC acting chief executive officer Apoche Itimu.

According to the statement, CFTC received an application for authorisation of the proposed acquisition where information that was submitted showed that the proposed transaction involves Tafika Holdings acquiring 100 percent equity stake in PTC.

Reads part of the statement: “According to the information gathered during the investigations, the transaction will not result in a change of market structure by reducing the number of players on the market.

One of the shops of the PTC franchise

“Further, it was established that the transaction will not create a dominant player nor will it create a vigorous player. It was also established that PTC was not thriving on the market and was at the verge of collapsing; hence, this transaction was timely to save a failing firm.”

According to the statement, no negative public concerns were registered during the merger investigations. As such, after thorough deliberations, CFTC approved the acquisition.

But in an earlier interview with The Nation, Tafika Holdings Limited chief executive officer Arson Malola said they are unable to invest in the franchise and strategically change the business because they are waiting for a nod from the market regulator.

He said: “The business itself was and still is management-heavy with a very high salary bill. In its current state, the business is unfortunately not sustainable, especially with the uncaring culture from a section of the workforce.

“However, as you might know, PTC has so much potential if restructured appropriately and run in an efficient manner with employees that are dedicated to serve its customers. The need to restock the stores with the right range is critical.”

Conglomerate Press Corporation plc early this year disposed of its 100 percent stake in the struggling retail chain store PTC Limited to Tafika Holdings Limited.

As part of the transaction, Press Corporation took over K12.5 billion of PTC  liabilities while Tafika inherited about K6 billion of the firm’s debts in lieu of the purchase price.

In the past 20 years, PTC has been closing down stores from over 135 nationwide to 20 stores confined to Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba.

Of the 20 shops, operating under the brand names of Spar, People’s Metro, People’s Express and Food Lovers Market, some have since been closed, rendering employees jobless.

The employees have since been requesting that management address them on concerns pertaining to the current situation.

Registered in 1973, PTC was the first retail chainstore to operate in Malawi.

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