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BCL investors now target tourism

BCL

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.

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