/ 18 July 2008

Tribunal approves Absa-Woolworths merger

South Africa’s Competition Tribunal on Thursday unconditionally approved the merger between the Absa Group and Woolworths Financial Services.

The tribunal said in a statement on Friday that the proposed transaction involves the establishment of a joint venture between Absa and Woolworths Holdings with respect to the financial-services businesses presently conducted by Woolworths Holdings, its subsidiaries and Account on Us.

The joint venture will be formed by the acquisition of 50% plus one share of the share capital of the restructured Woolworths Financial Services by Absa Group.

Pursuant to an internal restructuring by the Woolworths Group, Woolworths Financial Services shall hold the Woolworths Group’s entire financial business, it said. — I-Net Bridge