No issue with PML acquisition: ICCC

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) says there was no need to seek clearance for the acquisition of PNG Microfinance Limited (PML) by Nationwide Microbank Limited (MiBank).

ICCC said the parties did not meet the mandatory pre-merger notification thresholds.

ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain, said as a good corporate citizen, MiBank took the initiative to inform the ICCC of its intention to acquire PML and asked for the ICCC’s views.

As a first step, the ICCC considered whether or not the acquisition would meet any of the two mandatory notification thresholds. Section 81(1) (a) and (b) of the ICCC Act specifically states that:

“1. A person who proposes to acquire assets of a business or shares shall give the Commission a notice seeking clearance for the acquisition if - 

a)         the transaction value of the proposed acquisition exceeds K50, 000 000.00; or

b)         the proposed transaction is likely or would be likely to result in a market share increase of   50 percent or more of the person who is acquiring.”

Ain said based on information provided by MiBank, the ICCC noted that PML was insolvent. Also, PML’s current market share in terms of assets in the national banking system was about 0.09 percent while MiBank’s was 0.18 percent.

“On the basis of the available information, the ICCC concluded that the transaction fell outside of any of the mandatory notification thresholds,” confirmed Ain.

“Accordingly, MiBank was notified to proceed with the acquisition. However, if there are any new information that suggest otherwise, the ICCC will investigate it and take appropriate remedial actions, if deemed appropriate.”

Press release