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Pioneer appeals on Pannar bid to SA appeals court

DuPont seed subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred and South African seed company Pannar Seed (Greytown) are in the South African Competition Appeal Court to appeal against previous defeats to gain South African approval of Pioneer’s bid to acquire the latter. The companies took their case to the Court late last year after setbacks at the Competition Commission in late 2010 and the Competition Tribunal in 2011 ( Agrow No 627, p 9). The Commission argues that it found that Pannar did not face its claimed “stark choice” between “continued decline and dependence on Monsanto” if the takeover did not go ahead, rather than a “real future” if it was approved, national newspaper Business Day reports. It judged that any takeover would reduce the competition of “key players” from three to two. Pannar claims that it would not only be unable to provide that competition, but also that its assets and resources would be lost to the country. The Commission noted as it did at the Tribunal that Pannar could strike deals with multinationals lacking a presence in the country, such as Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences.

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