Following its successful acquisition of certain assets of the business of BCL Limited (“BCL”) (in liquidation), Canadian miner Premium Nickel Resources (Pty) Ltd (“PNRB) has now set its eyes on Botswana’s tourism sector.
Tourism is the country’s second biggest source of revenue after mining. According to a proposal document submitted to the Competition and Consumer Authority, Premium Nickel Resources intends to acquire certain assets of the business of Tuli Tourism Pty Ltd.
The Competition andConsumer Authority confirmed that it has received a merger notification for theproposed acquisition of certain assets of the business of Tuli Tourism (Pty) Ltd by Premium Nickel Resources.
The Competition and Consumer Authority explained in the document that the Acquiring Enterprise, PNR, is a company incorporated in accordance withthe Laws of the Republic of Botswana. PNR is wholly owned by PNR Selebi (Barbados) Limited (“PNR Barbados”). PNR Barbados is in turn owned by PNRInternational Limited, which is wholly owned by Premium Nickel ResourcesCorporation.
“The Acquiring Enterprise does not directly or indirectly control anyenterprise in Botswana. PNR is a special purpose vehicle that was incorporatedfor purposes of acquiring, amongst others, certain business assets related to theSelebi mine from BCL Limited (In Liquidation).
Other than that, PNR does not haveany activities in Botswana, it does not produce or sell any products into or fromBotswana,” the Competition and Consumer Authority said. The document shows that the directors of PNR are Montwedi Mphathi, Kneipe Setlhare (Batswana), NeilMathew Jamieson (British) and Keith Richard William Morrison (Canadian).
It says the Target Enterprise, Tuli Tourism, is a company incorporated in accordancewith the Laws of the Republic of Botswana. Tuli Tourism is controlled equally byPatrick Anthony O’Connell, Michael Celceus Hehir (both Irish), Michael KieranHehir and Barry John O’Connell (both Batswana).
“Tuli Tourism does not directlyor indirectly control any firm in Botswana. The Target Enterprise used to operatea hospitality business in Selibe Phikwe, which business is no longer operational,” the document reads in part. It shows that the Directors of Tuli Tourism are Patrick Anthony O’Connell, Michael Kieran Hehir,and Barry John O’Connell (Irish).
The Competition and Consumer Authority cited section 50 (3) of the Competition Act 2018, which states that “any person, including a third party not a party to the proposed merger, may voluntarily submit to theinspector or the Authority any document, affidavit, statement or other relevantinformation in respect of a proposed merger.”The Competition and Consumer Authority therefore is seeking any stakeholder viewsfor or against the proposed merger.
The Competition and Consumer Authority early this year announced that it has approved the proposed acquisition by Premium Nickel Resources of certain assets of the business of BCL Limited. At the time, Competition and Consumer Authority chief executive officer, Tebelelo Pule explained that more particularly certain business assets are in relation to the Selebi Mines (BCL mines in Selibe Phikwe).She said in a note that the transaction was notified to the Authority on 16th December 2021 and the merger assessment was completed on 13th January 2022.
Pule indicated that PNRB does not directly or indirectly control any enterprise in Botswana. She said the company is a special purpose vehicle that was incorporated for the purpose of acquiring the Selebi Assets.
“Other than that, PNRB does not have any activities in Botswana, it does not produce or sell any products into or from Botswana. The Target comprises certain assets of the business of BCL, a limited liability company incorporated under the Laws of Republic of Botswana. BCL is wholly owned by MineralsDevelopment Company Botswana which is in turn wholly owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana,” said Pule.
BCL has been in liquidation since October 2016, under the care of the Liquidator, Mr. TrevorGlaum N.O (the “Liquidator”) who has assumed the powers of the board of directors of BCL.Prior to its liquidation, BCL mined and produced nickel-copper-cobalt (“Ni-Cu-Co”) at the BCLMine site. The Ni-Cu-Co was exported out of Botswana to international markets such as Norway.
In terms of the relevant market, Pule said the Authority deems the merging parties to be in distinct markets.“The acquiring enterprise has no operations in, into or from Botswana. The relevant market to analyse therefore is that of the Target Enterprise, BCL.
The transaction consists of certainbusiness assets related to the Selebi Mine that was operated by BCL,” Pule said. The key product of the Selebi Mine is Ni-Cu-Co. The Ni-Cu-Co has been exported out of Botswana tointernational markets such as Norway.
The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.
The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.
Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.
The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.
Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.”