Zambia: New merger notification thresholds to be introduced

Zambian competition law requires mergers to be notified if they meet a certain threshold.

Since the inception of the Zambian Competition and Consumer Protection Act in October 2010 the Minister has not yet determined the threshold for notifiable mergers, with the result that all mergers within Zambia are currently notifiable.

In addition, a merger notification fee of 0.1% of the greater of the combined assets or turnover of the merging parties in Zambia is required to be paid.

The Zambian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) recently confirmed that new regulations dealing with merger notification thresholds have been signed but have not yet published in the government gazette.

The CCPC has reported that in terms of the new regulations a merger transaction will require authorisation from the CCPC where the combined turnover or assets, whichever is higher, in Zambia of the merging parties, is at least fifty million fee units in the merging parties’ latest full business year. One fee unit is said to amount to ZMK180, bringing the threshold for a notifiable merger to ZMK9 billion (calculated as ZMK180.00 x 50 million units).

Under the new regulations, the merger notification fee will remain 0.1% of the greater of the combined assets or turnover of the merging parties in Zambia, but the notification fee will now be subject to a cap of ZMK3 billion (at the time of publication ZMK3 billion amounted to approximately US$600,000).

For high turnover industries, merger notification in Zambia remains an expensive undertaking when compared with South Africa’s maximum filing fee of R350,000 for large mergers.

Chris Charter and Kayley de Oliveria specialise in competition law at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.