Green light for bank sale
THE COMPETITION Commission has given the green light to an attempt by Salim Aziz Essa, a business associate of the controversial Gupta family, and businessman Hamza Farooqui to acquire the South African assets of Habib Overseas Bank (HOBL).
The anti-trust body said on Sunday it had approved without conditions the merger whereby the newly formed Vardospan intends to buy the bank.
Vardospan is a joint venture between two entities established by Essa and Farooqui in 2016, called Cinq Holdings and Pearl Capital Group Holdings Limited respectively.
“Cinq Holdings and Pearl Capital are also recently established entities which are separately controlled by two individuals,” the commission said in a statement, which also confirmed that Vardospan had been established for the purpose of the acquisition of the bank.
HOBL is controlled by Pitcairns Finance SA, a company that is registered in Luxembourg.
The commission said it found no overlap in the activities of the merging parties. – ANA