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Competition Tribunal approves ABB Powertech Transformers restructuring

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In October 2007, Powertech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the JSE listed Altron Group, announced their intention to buy the 50% shareholding that it did not own in its joint venture company ABB Powertech Transformers, from ABB South Africa for a consideration of R 320-million. The Competition Tribunal gave their unconditional approval of the transaction as of 26 March 2008, thereby satisfying the only remaining condition precedent.

Powertech’s and ABB’s intention through the shareholding restructure was to facilitate the entry of an empowerment partner to the power transformer company. The negotiations with Powertech’s group BEE partners for a 25.1% stake are well progressed and announcements regarding this transaction will be made in due course.
The power transformer company will henceforward be known as Powertech Transformers. It will continue its business activities as the largest power transformer manufacturer on the African continent and as the only transformer company that manufacturers the entire range of power transformers in Sub-Sahara Africa, ranging in size from 20 MVA to 795 MVA.
ABB is committed to the South African market and has therefore agreed to sign a technology agreement with Powertech Transformers. This will allow the company to maintain their leadership position through access to ABB’s leading technology for power transformers.
Norbert Claussen, CEO of Powertech, commented, “We are very pleased that together with ABB we have found a good solution to accelerate the transformation process in our transformer subsidiary. Ultimately this will also benefit our customers and we will continue to strive for best customer service at all levels in our transformer business.”
With its world class facility in Pretoria West, Powertech Transformers has been serving the African as well as overseas markets for many decades. It currently employs over 1 000 people and has an annual turnover in excess of R1 billion. Its current order book of approximately R1.2-billion is a reflection of the strong position the company has in the market, fully supporting the announced infrastructure spend by Eskom and the local governmental authorities.