PRESS RELEASE

1 PRESS RELEASE No. 66/2020-21 – 17.03.2021

CCI issues order against three suppliers for rigging bids in tender floated by Pune Zilla Parishad for procurement of Picofall-cum-Sewing Machine

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found an agreement between three suppliers, to rig the bids in respect of a tender floated by Pune Zilla Parishad for procurement of Picofall-cum-Sewing Machine, in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(1) read with Section 3(3)(d) of the Competition Act, 2002, which prohibits anticompetitive agreements.

The Commission has concluded that quoting of bid prices which were very close to each other with difference of just a few rupees by the bidders for the Impugned Tender was not a mere coincidence but a result of consensus/ understanding amongst the bidders. The Commission also noted that a holistic assessment of bid prices of the bidders coupled with other plus factors viz. single IP address, coordination in other tenders, call data record, mobile location, etc. is conclusive of an agreement amongst the bidders to fix price, resulting in rigging the bids in the Impugned Tender of Pune Zilla Parishad. The Commission also opined that such conduct in public procurements, besides defeating the tendering process, has an adverse impact on the exchequer. Accordingly, the Commission imposed a monetary penalty of Rs. 10 lakh each on the suppliers viz. M/s Klassy Computers, M/s Nayan Agencies and M/s Jawahar Brothers, for the anti-competitive conduct. Further, a penalty of Rs. Ten Thousand each was imposed upon each of the individuals of M/s Jawahar Brothers in terms of Section 48 of the Act. The other two bidders are sole proprietorship concerns and thus, no separate penalty is being imposed upon their respective proprietors. Besides, a cease and desist order was also issued against these suppliers.

The Order was passed on 17.03.2021 in Case No. 90 of 2016.

2 PRESS RELEASE No. 67/2020-21 – 19.03.2021

CCI approves acquisition of 51% of the equity share capital of North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha (“NESCO Utility”) by The Tata Power Company Limited (“TPCL”) from Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (“GRIDCO”) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, on 18th March 2021.

The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of 51% of equity share capital of NESCO Utility by the TPCL from GRIDCO pursuant to the competitive bidding process initiated by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (“OERC”) under Section 20 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

TPCL, incorporated on 18th September 1919, is a public listed company and is primarily engaged in the business of power generation, transmission and distribution. It is a part of the Tata group.

NESCO Utility, incorporated on 19 November 1997, is engaged in the business of distribution and retail supply of power in five districts of Odisha namely, (i) Balasore; (ii) Bhadrak; (iii) Jajpur; (iv) Keonjhar; and (v) Baripada.

Under Review of CCI

1) C-2021-03-817 – Under Review

Name of the parties to the combination

(a) Rising Sun Holdings Private Limited (“Acquirer”);

(b) Magma Fincorp Limited (“Target”);

(c) Mr Sanjay Chamria; and

(d) Mr Mayank Poddar.

Mr Sanjay Chamria and Mr Mayank Poddar are the existing promoters of the Target and are collectively referred to as the “PACs”. The Acquirer, Target and the PACs are collectively referred to as the “Parties”.

Nature and purpose of the combination

The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of 60% shareholding by the Acquirer and 4.68% shareholding by the PACs in their capacity as “persons acting concert” (“PAC”) of the Target by way of preferential allotment of equity shares. (“Proposed Combination”). The Proposed Combination is an acquisition of shares and falls under Section 5(a) of the Competition Act, 2002.

The Proposed Combination is proposed to be undertaken to enable the Acquirer to achieve higher efficiencies in its existing businesses in the financial lending space as well as expand and diversify its operations in other business areas where the Target is present. The Proposed Combination will also create operational efficiencies among the activities of the Parties.

2) C-2021-03-818 – Under Review

Name of the parties to the combination

(i) Veolia Environnement S.A. (“Acquirer” or “Veolia”); and

(ii) Suez S.A. (“Target” or “Suez”)

Nature and purpose of the combination

The proposed combination relates to the acquisition of shares of Suez by Veolia (“Proposed Transaction”) and falls under Section 5(a) of the Competition Act, 2002.

3) C-2021-03-819 – Under Review

Name of the parties to the combination

(a) Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (“Acquirer”); and

(b) Gangavaram Port Limited (“Target”).

Nature and purpose of the combination

The Acquirer proposes to acquire 31.50% equity shareholding in the Target (i.e., the entity operating Gangavaram port) from Windy Lakeside Investment Ltd (“Seller”) (“Proposed Transaction”).

4) C-2021-03-820 – Under Review

Name of the parties to the combination

(a) Imola Acquisition Corporation (Imola); and

(b) GCL Investment Management Inc. (TopCo)

Nature and Purpose of the Combination

The transaction involves the proposed acquisition by Platinum Equity Group (through Imola, a wholly owned affiliate of certain entities that are ultimately controlled by the Platinum Equity Group) of 100% shareholding and sole control of Ingram Micro Inc. by way of a merger of subsidiaries. Platinum Equity Group will acquire Ingram Micro Inc. (together with (i) its parent companies TopCo and GCL Investment Holdings Inc. (GCLHI) and (ii) its direct and indirect subsidiaries) from Tianjin Tianhai Logistics Investment Management Co., Ltd., a Chinese company (Tianjin Tianhai). Tianjin Tianhai forms part of the group of companies organised under HNA Technology Co., Ltd., a Chinese company. Immediately following the merger of TopCo into Imola Merger Corporation (subsidiary of Imola), TopCo will merge into its subsidiary GCLHI and subsequently, GCLHI will merge into Ingram Micro (Proposed Combination).

Products, services and business(es) of the parties to the combination

Platinum Equity Group: Platinum Equity Group specialises in the merger, acquisition and operation of companies that provide services and solutions to customers in a broad range of businesses, including information technology, telecommunications, logistics, metal services, manufacturing and distribution.

Ingram Micro: Ingram Micro Inc. is a U.S. headquartered global IT company that specialises in technology distribution and logistics, cloud solutions and ecommerce supply chain services. Ingram Micro is engaged in the wholesale distribution of IT products, consumer electronics, mobility products, and related services in India.

Respective markets in which the parties to the combination operate

Ingram Micro is active in the wholesale distribution of electronic products in India and has a minor vertical supply relationship with one of Platinum Equity Group’s former portfolio companies in India. Based on the activities of the portfolio company, the upstream markets may be defined as the markets for manufacture and supply of (a) power management products in India; (b) thermal management products in India, and (c) infrastructure management and solutions in India. The downstream market may be defined as the market for wholesale distribution of electronic products in India.

5) C-2021-03-821 – Deemed approved (Regulation 5A)

Names of the parties to the Combination

a. Naspers Ventures B.V. (“Acquirer”); and,

b. API Holdings Private Limited (“Target”).

Nature and Purpose of the Combination

The Acquirer proposes to acquire shares of the Target (“Proposed Transaction”). Accordingly, the Proposed Transaction is in the nature of an acquisition under Section 5(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”).

Respective markets in which the Parties operate

It is submitted that there are no (i) horizontal overlaps; and/or (ii) vertical / complementary links between the business activities of the Parties (or their respective group entities) in India.

As such, the Proposed Transaction is being notified under the green channel route in terms of Regulation 5A and Schedule III of the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (as amended).

6) C-2021-03-822 – Under Review

The proposed transaction involves acquisition by Tata Digital Ltd. (“TDL”) of up to 64.3% of the total share capital of Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Ltd. (“SGS”) (on a fully diluted basis) through a combination of primary and secondary acquisitions, in one or more series of steps (Transaction 1). Subsequently, through a separate transaction, SGS may acquire sole control over Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited (“IRC”) (Transaction 2). Transaction 1 and Transaction 2 are collectively referred to as the Proposed Transaction.

The Proposed Transaction will result in the acquisition by TDL of majority stake of and control over SGS.

The Proposed Transaction is notifiable under Section 5(a)(i)(A) and 5(b)(i)(A) of the Competition Act, 2002.

7) C-2021-03-823 – Under Review

Acquisition of shares under Section 5(a)(i)(A) of the Competition Act, 2002 whereby GPL Finance and Investments Limited (“GPL”) will acquire 100% equity shares in: (i) YES Asset Management (India) Limited (“YES AMC”); and (ii) YES Trustee Limited (“YES TRUSTEE COMPANY”), respectively.

The proposed combination is an acquisition of shares under Section 5(a)(i)(A) of the Competition Act, 2002 whereby GPL Finance and Investments Limited (“GPL”) will acquire 100% equity shares in: (i) YES Asset Management (India) Limited (“YES AMC”); and (ii) YES Trustee Limited (“YES TRUSTEE COMPANY”), respectively (“Proposed Combination”).

The Proposed Combination will bring in the expertise and experience of the White Oak Group in relation to investment management, advisory, product development, etc., allowing YES Mutual Fund (“YES MF”) to offer wide range of mutual fund schemes in debt, equity and hybrid category to its investors to get high wallet shares and also compete more efficiently with its competitors.

8) C-2021-03-824, C-2021-03-825 & C-2021-03-826 – Under Review

1) Acquisition of 51% of the equity share capital of Western Electricity Supply Company of Orissa Limited (“WESCO Utility”) by The Tata Power Company Limited (“TPCL”) from Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (“GRIDCO”).

2) Acquisition of 51% of the equity share capital of Southern Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha Limited (“SOUTHCO Utility”) by The Tata Power Company Limited (“TPCL”) from Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (“GRIDCO”).

3) Acquisition of 51% of the equity share capital of Central Electricity Supply Utility of Orissa Limited (“CESU”) by The Tata Power Company Limited (“TPCL”) from Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (“GRIDCO”).

*****

Author – CS Nilesh Kelkar, from Mumbai and can be contacted at [email protected]).

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and do not constitute an advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer relevant provisions of statute, Rules, Regulations, Press Release, Notices/ Order, latest judicial pronouncements etc. before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that Author / TaxGuru is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. This is not any kind of advertisement or solicitation of work by a professional.

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