Green light for bank sale

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS -

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

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