The South African antitrust regulator has rejected Dupont Co's proposed purchase of a majority stake in local seed firm Pannar Seed Ltd, upholding a regulatory ruling in force since last year.
In September 2010, the chemical giant's South African subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred had proposed buying a majority stake in Pannar, the largest seed company in Africa and a significant competitor in the international seed industry.
South African Competition Commission in December rejected the deal since there were only three companies in the seed business in South Africa, and the merger would have reduced competition between just two firms, including the merged entity. (See: South Africa blocks DuPont bid for seed producer Pannar Seed)
Pioneer Hi-Bred had said at that time that it would appeal the ruling.
South Africa's Competition Tribunal delivered the ruling yesterday after a three-week hearing in which it heard evidence from several witnesses to find out whether the merger would impact the maize seed market in the country, including the effects on small and subsistence farmers.
Pioneer and Pannar are the second and third largest maize seed producers and suppliers in South Africa after Monsanto SA.
While rejecting the deal, the tribunal said that it would give its reasons for this at a later date.