/ 25 July 2023

Competition Tribunal approves Takatso Consortium takeover of SAA

2234decd Saa
As they start recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, FlySafair and SAA have launched new routes and are leasing additional aircraft

The Takatso Consortium now owns 51% of SAA after putting in its offer to take over the national carrier in June 2021. 

The Competition Tribunal announced on Tuesday that it had conditionally approved the proposed majority takeover of SAA by Takatso. This leaves just 49% of the company under the department of public enterprises, as the government’s shareholder representative. 

In a statement the tribunal said it  approved the transaction subject to conditions involving a moratorium on retrenchments and divestiture of the shareholding by the minority shareholders in the Takatso consortium.

Earlier this year the Competition Commission recommended that the tribunal approve the disposal of the 51% stake to Takatso, subject to conditions. One of these was that the minority partners in the Takatso consortium, Global Aviation and Syranix — which co-own LIFT airline — exit, to avoid decreasing competition in the domestic passenger market.

The department of public enterprises has in the past said it hopes the Takatso deal will shield SAA from needing further government bailouts.

According to a 2020 treasury document, SAA has incurred net losses of more than R32 billion since 2008. By the Mail & Guardian’s calculations, with the R10.5 billion bailout allocated to SAA in 2020, the airline has received more than R60 billion in government guarantees.

The tribunal said it would issue its reasons for approving the transaction in due course.