Sunday, November 29, 2020

Furnmart, Sefalana move to block Ottapathu’s attempt to acquire Warbler Holdings

Leading retail chains stores, Sefalana group and Furnmart were amongst the companies that on Monday opposed the proposed takeover of Warbler Holdings (Pty) Ltd by businessman, Ramachandran Ottapathu. 

Ottapathu’s, who is the sole owner of BLUEHEARTS (PTY) LTD, and a director at Choppies Enterprise, a direct competitor of Sefalana Holdings has since notified the market of his intention to acquire the entire issued shareholding of Warbler Holdings (Pty) Ltd in IT4Africa (Pty) Ltd; Goldtech (Pty) Ltd; Healthwest Africa (Pty) Ltd; and Solid Logistics (Pty) Ltd. 

On Monday, the Competition Authority held a public hearing regarding the intended acquisition where the leading retailers amongst them Sefalana and Furnmart opposed the move. Sefalana, Choppies and FurnMart are all listed companies at the Botswana Stock Exchange. 

On Monday the companies made counter arguments against Ottapathu’s intentions classifying it as “unfair” competition. Sefalana which was represented by its managing director Hans Kampann and Group Finance director Mohamed Osman presented a lengthy letter in which they gave details of why they opposed the proposed acquisition. 

Following the handing over of the letter, the Competition Authority noted that it shall release its decision on the matter on a later date after studying its contents. 

Warbler Holdings is incorporated in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Botswana, and is a holding company for IT4Africa (Pty) Ltd, Goldtech (Pty) Ltd, Healthwest Africa (Pty) Ltd and Solid Logistics (Pty) Ltd, the target enterprises. The director of Warbler Holdings is Mr. Meempat R. Narayan. The four subsidiaries are incorporated in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Botswana and are primarily operational in Gaborone. 

IT4Africa is a wholesaler and supplies the following products to air-corn dealers, value added providers, resellers and retailers in Gaborone and other parts of the country(Botswana): Computers; Cell phones; Tablets and accessories; Anti-virus and Security software products; Mobile Phones; Air-cons; Printers; Projectors; Scanners  and Accessories. The following are brands that IT4Africa trades in: Acer Computers; eScan; Hisense; Epson; Lexmark; and Samsung. 

Goldtech Holdings is a wholesaler and supplies the following products to retail stores, value added providers and resellers in Gaborone and other parts of the country (Botswana): Home and Kitchen appliances; Personal Grooming Products; and Consumer Electronics under the brand name of Samsung; Kenwood; Wahl and Sinotec.

Healthwest Africa sells home appliances & consumer electronics; and personal grooming and kitchen appliances under the brand name of Hisense and Philips. Healthwest sells its products primarily in Gaborone. 

Solid Logistics provides logistics, warehousing and freight services currently to its associated companies being: IT4Africa; Goldtech and Healthwest Africa. 

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.