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The Competition Tribunal conditionally approved the merger between South Africa’s largest ship and oil rig repair companies, DCD Dorbyl and Elgin Brown & Hamer (EBH), on July 31 and the company now trades as DCD Marine.

The conditions include that the merging parties undertake not to acquire or establish control, directly or indirectly, over EBH’s ship repair facility within ten years after the lease agreement expires on February 28 next year.

The parties must notify the Competition Tribunal of any acquisition or establishment of control over the EBH ship repair facility after the lease agreement and the ten-year period had expired.

The parties are to cooperate in the investigation process that may be instituted by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to review current ship repair conditions and tariffs.

The Competition Tribunal will engage with the TNPA, in an advisory role, to highlight the competition- and/or public interest-related issues that might arise in relation to ship repair facili- ties in general and in relation to tenders pertain- ing to access for small and medium-sized enter- prises to repair such facilities.

According to reports, DCD Marine MD Rob King said the merger would double DCD Marine’s turnover. The merger includes Durban harbour and Namibia’s Walvis Bay harbour and will provide access to the cargo vessel repair sector in which EBH has been active in for more than a century.

The deal is set to create 3 000 new jobs and DCD Marine aims to increase the skills base of South Africa’s shipyard sector. It trained 600 welders in 2011 and has opened a facility in Cape Town that will train 150 artisans a year.

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