Actis, Abraaj merger approved by competition authorities

Abraaj, which was once the Middle East's largest private equity firm, filed for liquidation.

South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has approved the proposed merger between Actis International and Abraaj Investment that will see the former acquire the latter’s several private equity funds, the competition authority announced on Thursday.

Actis was picked as the preferred bidder for the management rights of Abraaj’s Africa funds, as Abraaj, which was once the Middle East’s largest private equity firm, filed for liquidation.

The Actis Group is a global private equity investor and has interests in the consumer, healthcare, financial services, industrial, energy, education and real estate sectors. It has investments in emerging markets in Africa including South Africa, China, India, Latin America and South East Asia.

In South Africa, Abraaj Investment manages private equity funds: AAF III and APEF IV. AAF III controls Joint Medical Holdings (Pty) Ltd (JMH). JMH is a progressive healthcare organisation which operates a number of hospitals and health care centres as well as a nursing learning centres.

The merger was subject to the approval of the Competition Tribunal, which considered the merger and concluded that “it was unlikely to lessen competition significantly.”

“The commission therefore recommended that the Tribunal approve the deal without conditions,” the Tribunal said.