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Namibia competition watchdog blocks West China Cement’s Schwenk deal

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The Namibian Competition Commission has blocked the sale of Schwenk Namibia’s stake in Ohorongo Cement to West China Cement over fears the deal could lead to anti-competitive behaviour in the local market, the regulator said Wednesday.

West China Cement Limited already owns a majority stake in another cement maker in Namibia, Whale Rock Cement, which trades as Cheetah Cement.

Schwenk Namibia owns a 69.8% stake in Ohorongo Cement, the southern African country’s biggest cement maker.

In the ruling, the competition watchdog said if the 1.5 billion Namibian dollars ($870 million) deal was allowed to proceed it would stifle competition and lead to possible collusion and price-fixing.

“The Namibian Competition Commission (has) made a decision to prohibit the acquisition of Schwenk Namibia (Pty) Ltd by West China Limited due to the fact that it would result in coordination between Ohorongo Cement (Pty) Ltd and Whale Rock Cement,” the regulator said in its statement.

($1 = 17.2430 Namibian dollars)

(Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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