Transformative Transactions: Why RMB Ventures’ Investment in Bulldog Group won the Competition Tribunal’s unconditional approval

May 14, 2024 | News

The recent investment by RMB Ventures and Mohau Equity Partners in the Bulldog Group represents not just a strategic business move, but an example of a transformative transaction that is in lockstep with South Africa’s amended Competition Law.

The 2019 amendments to the Competition Act have reshaped the landscape of mergers and acquisitions by mandating the promotion of a greater spread of ownership, particularly among Historically Disadvantaged Persons (HDPs). This legislative change underscores a crucial shift towards balancing competition and public interest factors equally, aiming to dismantle the longstanding economic disparities that have characterised our economy.

This transaction has been particularly notable for its genuine commitment to these principles. On 26 March 2024, the Competition Tribunal unconditionally approved the deal, recognising the significant increase in HDP ownership within Bulldog Group. By granting Bulldog 31% black female ownership through the partnership with Mohau, a black, women-owned private equity fund, the transaction not only elevates Bulldog’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) status but also aligns perfectly with the broader economic transformation goals.

What is noteworthy in this transaction is the effective approach taken towards empowerment. The Tribunal’s decision reflects a growing emphasis on the constructive upliftment of HDPs rather than merely ticking regulatory checkboxes. This focus is crucial for the long-term sustainability of these initiatives and for fostering a genuinely inclusive economy.

In the changing competition law environment, it is vital for companies to embrace this deeper understanding of the Competition Act’s intent. The success of this transaction demonstrates that true empowerment and strategic business growth can go hand-in-hand, benefitting not just the companies involved but the broader South African society.

By Lucinda Verster | Director