Remember! In December 2017, British American Tobacco, the second largest tobacco group in the world announced the acquisition of the manufacturer South African e-cigarettes "Twisp". Today the merger that was to take place seems more complex than expected. Indeed, several tobacco players including Philip Morris are authorized to vote on the approval of this merger.
Following a decision of the Competition Tribunal in South Africa. two major players in the tobacco industry may intervene in the proposed merger between British American Tobacco (BAT) and the e-cigarette maker Twisp.
« Gold Leaf Tobacco and Philip Morris South Africa have been recognized as participants in the ongoing major merger process between British American Tobacco and Twisp“, Said the Tribunal in a statement released Wednesday. This means that companies are allowed to participate in the hearing of the merger by the Court.
They have the right to access case documents, file witness statements, testify in court, and cross-examine witnesses, among other things. Initially, the Competition Commission had recommended to the Court to prohibit the merger between BAT and Twisp, before withdrawing the recommendation after having reached an agreement with the parties on the terms of this one.
Subsequently, Philip Morris South Africa and Gold Leaf Tobacco applied to the Tribunal for leave to intervene in the merger proceedings.
« They said they would provide information that would be useful for the Tribunal to decide on the merger.“, Declared the Tribunal.
Philip Morris and Gold Leaf will just comment on the impact of the merger on the business side. They will also be able to give an opinion on the increase in obstacles to enter the e-cigarette market and the conditions imposed by the Court on the parties to the merger.
The date of the hearing for this merger has not yet been determined and will be "in due course", added the Tribunal.