Our Competition team

can provide strategic advice and practical solutions for competition law issues.

Groundbreaking Matters

"Quick, excellent strategic advice with a good knowledge of the business."

Chambers Global 2018

"Knowledgeable team with a track record and personalised client service."

Chambers Global 2018

Our team offers a comprehensive service that encompasses every aspect of competition law, including:

  • All aspects of the Competition Act.
  • Helping clients ensure compliance.
  • Preparing merger notification documents.
  • Guiding clients through merger investigation proceedings and hearings. 

  • Opposing mergers. 

  • Advising in cartel enforcement proceedings, abuse of dominance matters and vertical arrangements. 

  • Designing and executing tailored competition law compliance audits. 

  • Initiating and advising on complaint proceedings before the competition authorities.
  • Defending clients in complaint proceedings. 

  • Advising on damages actions relating to anti-competitive conduct. 

  • Creation of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted for TCCC in obtaining merger approval in various jurisdictions for the creation of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – an amalgamation of the Coca-Cola bottling assets of SABMiller, Coca-Cola Sabco, Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages and TCCC. The transaction also includes the acquisition by TCCC of a number of SABMiller non-alcoholic ready to drink brands, including Appletiser. Value USD260 million.

    Merger of bottling operations and beverage brand acquisitions:
    Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr advised on the multi-jurisdictional merger of The Coca-Cola Company's bottler partners in South Africa to form the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Africa. Advising on contemporaneous sale of various non-alcoholic beverage brands by SABMiller Plc to The Coca-Cola Company.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is acting for Massmart Holdings Limited who referred a complaint to the Tribunal regarding the enforcement by incumbent grocery retailers of exclusivity provisions in shopping mall lease agreements, which prevent Massmart from selling groceries in competition with the incumbents. Massmart is controlled by Walmart. Following the Commission's decision to subsume its investigation (initiated as a result of Massmart's complaint brought in late 2014) concerning the effect of mall lease exclusivities on competition into a broader grocery retail market inquiry, Massmart elected to self-refer the complaint to the Competition Tribunal. The matter is being vigorously defended by the respondents (major incumbent grocery retailers) and a number of interlocutory applications have been brought in an attempt to pre-occupy the Tribunal ahead of a hearing on the merits.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted for Brait S.E., the South Africa-based investment holding company with shares listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and also on the JSE. Brait’s portfolio is principally comprised of holdings in privately-owned businesses operating in a range of industries. In a deal valued by Brait SE at GBP 1.3 billion, Brait SE acquired 80% in Virgin Active. Competition approval in South Africa and Namibia were significant conditions precedent and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr secured approvals in both jurisdictions.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr continues to advise Investec Principal Investments (now Investec Equity Partners) on various merger control matters related to its portfolio of investments. Crucially, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr advised Investec, part of a global specialist banking & asset management group listed on the JSE, in a lead role capacity in the disposal of its private equity portfolio (some 16 investments) to a special purpose vehicle, Investec Equity Partners, which is owned by Investec, Management and a number of Strategic Investors. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr provided advice regarding the transfer of private equity assets worth about ZAR 7.5bn to the new investment vehicle from the principal investments unit.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is advising the parties regarding a merger notification to form "MotoVantage", a joint venture between WesBank and Hollard, involving their interests in the motor value added products space. We are also providing advice to MotoVantage regarding a follow-up transaction in which MotoVantage will acquire Regent's motor VAPS business as a second phase in a transaction in which Hollard will acquire Regent Insurance from Imperial.

    The MotoVantage transaction experienced a level of opposition from industry participants because of WesBank's high market share in the vehicle finance space. The transaction was approved with conditions regulating WesBank's conduct in this market. Value R2.3 billion

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) which is the state broadcaster in the country that provides 19 radio stations as well as 4 television broadcasts to the general public. The mandate involved responding to an opposing application by Caxton - the SOS Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa - to declare that a channel licencing agreement between SABC and Multichoice constitutes a merger under the Competition Act.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's long-standing client Vodacom is an African mobile communications company, providing voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 55 million customers. Vodacom, ,MTN and Cell C notified mergers to acquire the subscriber base of Altech Autopage, the last remaining service provider in the South African market. The mergers were approved with employment related conditions. The matter was opposed by Saicom but its intervention application and objections were dismissed by the Tribunal (there is a possibility of a review application being brought By Saicom). The case is important in the context of intervention by third parties in merger proceedings.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted for the merging parties in securing unconditional merger approval for the horizontal merger between Transpaco and the business of East Rand Plastics, a division Astrapak. East Rand Plastics is one of Africa’s largest manufacturers and their well-known brand, GARBIE, is one of only two top brands in South Africa. They also manufacture many individual house brands.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is acting for Fidelity Security Group Pty Ltd, Southern Africa's largest integrated security solutions provider in the intermediate horizontal merger which was conditionally approved by the Competition Commission. The conditions related to information exchange and a 3 year moratorium on merger related retrenchments. Fidelity referred the matter to the Tribunal for re-consideration. Prior to the Tribunal's hearing of the matter, the Commission agreed to reduce the moratorium period to 18 months post-closing, as well as certain conditions acceptable to Fidelity relating to a study assistance programs and funding for retrenched employees. The conditions monitoring period is set to be completed by August 2018.

  • Market Inquiry: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Mediclinic, a JSE-listed private hospital group and one of the main stakeholders under the spotlight, in the Competition Commission's on-going market inquiry into private healthcare. The panel of five independent experts, led by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, are probing the reasons for rising private healthcare expenditure in South Africa.

    Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr recently represented Mediclinic in the first set of public hearings which commenced in 16 February 2016. This round of hearings was attended by a wide range of stakeholders, including other private hospitals, medical schemes, Minister of Health, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organisation.

    Mega-merger: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr advised Mediclinic in a reverse take-over of Al Noor Hospitals plc, a reverse listing on the JSE and inward listings on JSE and NSX. This was a landmark transaction for South Africa in 2015, in terms of both its complexity and the value. Value R125 billion

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acted for Ascendis and Akacia, in successfully obtaining unconditional merger clearances for JSE-listed healthcare group Ascendis' acquisition of the pharmaceutical business of Akacia, in South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. Value ZAR 345 million

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr obtained unconditional merger approval for the acquisition by JSE-listed Fortress of separately JSE-listed Capital. Value Approximately ZAR 52 billion

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Delta Property Fund Limited, a specialist, REIT status approved property fund listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange since 2012, in relation to obtaining large merger approval for its acquisition of a portfolio of sovereign tenanted properties from Redefine Properties Limited. The matter involved obtaining merger approval for Delta's acquisition of a portfolio of properties situated in major cities in South Africa including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria. Value R1,25 billion

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr obtained merger approval from competition authorities for large merger involving acquisition by Rebosis Property Fund Limited of control over Ascension Properties Limited.
  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Coca Cola, the iconic, global leading drinks company. Following our work for TCCC in the creation of Africa's largest Coca-Cola-authorised bottler (Coca-Cola Beverages Africa) in 2016, our competition team secured the approval of TCCC's exercise of its call option over SABMiller's majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. The acquisition of SABMiller by ABInbev triggered a call option by TCCC over SABMiller's majority stake in CCBA. The transaction required notification to the competition authorities in South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya and the COMESA Competition Commission. Our experienced team lead the competition approval work stream, and secured approval from all jurisdictions. The matter required extensive negotiation with the Minister of Economic Development regarding proposed increases in BEE shareholding of CCBA.  

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is the on-going adviser to DH Brothers Industries Proprietary Limited t/a Willowton Group (Willowton), South Africa’s largest sunflower seed crusher as well as one of the leading players in the South African fast-moving consumer goods market. Our competition team has been leading work for Willowton on a wide range of demanding mandates over the review period. This impressive caseload includes securing approval for a joint venture with Louis Dreyfus Commodities Africa for the acquisition of two maize mills. The merger saw our client’s entry into the maize milling space and represented a vertical merger. After extensive engagement with the Commission during its investigation period, the Commission recommended the prohibition of the transactions on a co-ordinated effects theory of harm. Thanks to our expert stewardship of this mandate, the merging parties successfully contested the Commission's recommendation at the Tribunal. The target entities were in extreme financial distress, so the contestation had to be handled under severely truncated timelines to prevent the loss of circa 400 jobs. The recommendation was successfully overturned and the Tribunal approved the transactions with conditions which were offered by the merging parties ring-fencing information. In an entirely separate mandate, our team is also leading work for Willowton in defending a complaint regarding alleged price fixing in the edible oils industry. The investigation was initiated through a dawn raid process. We are assisting the client in challenging the lawfulness of the dawn raid at the High Court on the basis of the inadequacy of the information placed before the court in the Commission's ex parte application for a warrant to conduct the search and seizure process. We are also acting for the client in defending the complaint.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing South Africa-based, Uniplate Group, the largest number plate company south of the equator in Africa. Our competition team is advising this client in the Commission's referral against Uniplate for alleged abuse of dominance. The allegations concern Uniplate's supply of embossing machines, together with a requirement that customers purchase blanks exclusively from Uniplate. Uniplate's defence is that it supplies an embossing system in competition with other tied systems. Uniplate contends that the machines are supplied at reduced prices in return for guaranteed blanks sales, facilitating the participation of small businesses in the licence plate supply market. The matter proceeded to a contested hearing towards the end of 2017.  

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Vodacom, the leading South Africa-based mobile communications company. Our client is one of the main stakeholders in the spotlight of Competition Commission's on-going market inquiry into the price of data. The inquiry is intended to be completed by August 2018 and has attracted significant publicity under the hashtag Data Must Fall. Our competition team, together with a global team of economic experts, made submissions to the Commission. The Inquiry is related to ICASA's priority market inquiry in the broader telecoms industry. Our team also represented Vodacom in its successful opposition of the Cell C complaint regarding on-net/off-net differentials, which was non-referred. In addition, we represent Vodacom in relation to the Competition Commission's investigation into its roaming agreement with RAIN (articles cited below). We also perform advisory and compliance work for Vodacom regarding Competition Act matters.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Mediclinic Southern Africa Proprietary Limited (Mediclinic), the operator of a range of multi-disciplinary acute care private hospitals; and Matlosana Medical Health Services Proprietary Limited (Matlosana), the leading healthcare services company. Our competition team advised these client in all of the competition law aspects of their merger. Under the terms of the deal, Mediclinic will acquire three hospitals based in Klerksdorp. The Competition Commission has recommended the prohibition of the combination. Both parties will be leading complex economic and actuarial evidence. Due to the complex nature of the transaction, the merger has been set down for hearing for three weeks, commencing in May 2018.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec), China’s largest manufacturer and supplier of petroleum and petrochemical products and an entity which was ranked third in the Fortune Global 500 in 2017. Our competition team advised this client in its bid for Chevron Global Energy Inc's refining and retail assets in South Africa and Botswana. The merger attracted considerable attention given the strategic importance of the refining assets. As a result, the Sinopec was required to negotiate a comprehensive set of undertakings with the Minister of Economic Development aimed at ensuring that the merger served the public interest.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Platinum Group Metals, the TSE-listed mining company focused on the production of platinum and palladium. Our competition team is advising this client in relation to the disposal of its Maseve Mine assets to JSE-listed RBPlat.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Total South Africa (Total), the leading manufacturer and marketer of a range of petroleum products for the retail, commercial, agriculture and industrial markets. Our competition team is advising both Total and target, Gulfstream in securing unconditional approval from the Tribunal for their major merger. The merger involved the acquisition of a controlling minority shareholding in an independent wholesaler of petrol and diesel. During the course of the Commission's investigation, the Minister of Economic Development expressed concern that the transaction would reduce the BEE shareholding in Gulfstream. We successfully advised in connection with these concerns to illustrate that the transaction had benefits to BEE and to the target business, and therefore that the transaction represented a merger with positive public interest impacts. On this basis, the Commission recommended the unconditional approval of the transaction, which was confirmed by the Tribunal.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing key firm client, Lonmin, the UK-basedproducer of platinum group metals operating in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa. Our competition team has represented Lonmin for many years. Over the review period, we led work for Lonmin in what may prove to be a seminal transaction in its long history as a major platinum producer. The transaction involves the acquisition of Lonmin by Sibanye Gold Limited (t/a Sibanye-Stillwater). The transaction involves lawyers and advisors from South Africa and the UK and requires competition and regulatory approvals in both South Africa and the UK.  

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Sovereign Food, one of the largest poultry producers in South Africa. Our competition team advised this client in relation to a hostile takeover by Country Bird Holdings. This involved a successful review application brought to the Competition Tribunal in relation to the acquisition by Country Bird of control over Sovereign Foods. We also represented both Capitalworks and Sovereign Food in the acquisition by Capitalworks of all Sovereign’s shares.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Old Mutual, the global-leading investment, savings, insurance, and banking group with more than £394.9 billion in assets under management. Our competition team leads work for Old Mutual in a range of unconditional merger clearances across a number of markets on an on-going basis. Recent examples include Old Mutual Life Insurance's acquisition of a controlling interest in Kagiso Infrastructure Empowerment Fund, an investor in South African infrastructure projects; an indirect acquisition by OMSA of certain retail shopping centres; and Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer's acquisition of certain rights and obligations of MMI Group in the long-term insurance annuity policy market.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), the third-largest bank by market capitalisation in Australia. Our competition team is advising this client in defending the Commission's referral of a complaint of collusion in the foreign exchange market. The Commission alleges that banks manipulated the Rand/Dollar exchange rate. The matter has faced numerous interlocutory challenges, as well as interlocutory actions from the Commission, the addition of new respondents and supplementary papers filed by the Commission. ANZ refutes the Commission's case contending the Commission has failed to plead the basis for its jurisdiction to prosecute ANZ.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is the on-going competition law adviser to South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the state broadcaster which provides 19 radio stations as well as four television broadcasts to the general public. Our work for SABC over the review period has included counsel in connection with an application brought by Caxton and the Competition Commission to the Constitutional Court for wide investigatory powers to be granted to the Commission. The application follows a decision by the Tribunal that a channel licencing agreement between SABC and Multichoice did not constitute a merger under the Competition Act.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing (Stadio Holdings Limited) Stadio, the South Africa-based, JSE-listed investment company focussing on post-school education. Our competition team has advised this client in numerous acquisitions in the higher education market over the review period. Each acquisition has required separate merger approvals in South Africa and in Namibia. Our work included advising on Stadio's acquisition of the South African School of Motion Picture Medium & Live Performance Proprietary (AFDA); the Southern Business School Proprietary Limited (SBS); and Milpark Education.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing firm repeat client, Public Investment Corporation (PIC), one of the largest investment managers in Africa and an entity with assets under management of ZAR 1.857 trillion-plus. Our competition team is advising this prestigious client in relation to the competition law issues it has encountered in its 100 per cent acquisition of Daybreak Farms. Under the terms of this BEE transaction, PIC received shares as security in the business
  • Chambers Global 2011–2018 ranked our Competition practice in Band 2 for competition/antitrust.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2011–2018 recommended us in Tier 2 for competition.
  • IFLR1000 2009–2018 ranked our practice in Tier 2 for competition.