Ma’aden Marketing and Distribution—wholly-owned by Saudi Arabian Mining Company—has acquired 85 percent of Malawi’s Mauritius-headquartered largest phosphate producers, Meridian Group.
Meridian Group, which distributes 500 000 tonnes of fertiliser across Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia comprises Farmers World Limited, Demeter Seed Limited, Malawi Fertiliser Company Limited, Agora Limited, Grain Securities Limited, Liwonde Property Investment Limited and Optichem (2000) Limited.
The publicly-listed Saudi Arabian mining company’s acquisition comes as part of the Saudi company’s plan to expand its global footprint in key markets.
Meridian co-chief executive officer Chris Giannakis confirmed the transaction on Thursday, saying it was completed last year and cost no jobs.
In a statement, Ma’aden said the all-cash deal will provide the phosphate producer 3 000 staff and a network of operations to expand in Africa.
Maaden president and chief executive officer Darren Christopher Davis told Argaam in an interview that the company plans to add three million tonnes of phosphate fertilisers by 2025.
He said: “This acquisition marks a very important step in Ma’aden’s strategy to build global distribution channels for our fertiliser products.
“As we continue to build one of the largest producers and exporters of phosphate fertilisers in the world, ensuring an efficient route to key growth markets is critical to our success.”
The remaining 15 percent of Meridian is expected to be acquired over the next four years, Maaden said in a statement.
The company distributes superfert fertiliser, among other agricultural products, which are core commodities for Ma’aden.
On Friday, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) said there has not been any application from Ma’aden Mining Company or Meridian Group for authorisation to effect the merger or acquisition.
CFTC spokesperson Innocent Helema said some mergers may fall under the ambit of the Comesa Competition Commission (CCC), but indicated that there are prescribed threshholds for a merger or takeover to be notified to CCC.
He said: “If the entities fail to meet the thresholds, they have to notify the local authority and in this case the CFTC. “Based on the above, we would, therefore, like to encourage the parties to notify the merger as appropriate.”