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CA hands Baobab to South African company

The Competitions Authority (CA) has finally allowed the hostile and controversial takeover of Baobab Primary School, a private institute, by a South African company Curro Holdings trading as Entax Holdings (Pty, but under strict conditions.

The takeover of the local private school was initially regarded by CA as a going concern in March this year and was not without controversy and hostility as parents believed the school was going to be given away to foreigners on a silver platter and their children were going to be affected negatively.

The parents also complained that they were not consulted when the school was sold for P65 million to Curro Holdings or Entax Holdings. Curro Holdings is listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and it develops and manages independent schools and education services in South Africa and Namibia.

Recently CA approved the proposed acquisition of Baobab School by Entax Holdings as a going concern and with conditions which will ban the new merger from coming with their own uniform suppliers. CA also does not approve the new owners’ decision to force learners to buy Curro branded gadgets (gadgets from Curro Holdings or South Africa) after acquisition. The Authority has also ordered that Curro Holdings retain all staff employed by Baobab School.

These are the CA conditions on the merger: “(i) Entax Holdings shall continue to source uniform from the existing local suppliers that were engaged by Baobab on terms no less favourable to those offered by Baobab to local suppliers, pre-merger; (ii) Entax Holdings shall ensure that parents or learners are not forced to buy Curro branded gadgets; (iii) The Authority is cognizant of the merging parties’ commitment to retain the current employees of the target entity. In light of this, the merged entity shall ensure that there are no retrenchments of any employees associated with this merger commencing from the approval date; and (iv) Entax Holdings shall fulfil the existing contractual obligations with learners, suppliers and employees.”

Further, the Authority has ordered Entax Holdings to adhere to the following: “(I) any changes to its employment records in the country; and (II) a list of its existing and new locally based suppliers.” On this merger CA states that it was looking at protecting broader public interest and that the acquisition may advance citizen empowerment initiatives or enhances the competitiveness of citizen-owned small and medium sized enterprises.

However CA has noted that shares that were previously owned by citizens were taken over by a non-citizen owned firm. Former Minister of Basic Education Unity Dow who is now Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development is one of the former shareholders and directors of Baobab School who sold the institute to a South African company.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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