Tanzanian government explains approval of acquisition of Tanga Cement by Heidelberg Material

The government has defended its support for the acquisition of a majority stake in Tanga Cement by a subsidiary of Heidelberg Materials. In 2021 Scancem International, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Materials, agreed to buy a 68% share of Tanga Cement from AfriSam for around US$59m. The Fair Competition Commission (FCC) provisionally approved the deal but the Fair Competition Tribunal (FCT) blocked it in late 2022 following lobbying by Chalinze Cement and the Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society on the grounds that it would potentially reduce market competition, according to the Citizen newspaper. However, Scancem International applied again to the FCC in December 2022 to push through the agreement. This motion was then approved in February 2023.

During a parliamentary debate on the issue in early May 2023 Ashatu Kijaji, the Minister for Industry and Trade, defended the decision to re-approve the deal on the grounds that the approved merger application was different from the one rejected by the FCT. However, other members of parliament were sceptical about the decision.