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Zambia: Merger notification threshold increases to ZMW 30 million

6 April 2023
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The Zambian Minister of Commerce, Trade, and Industry, Chipoka Mulenga, (Minister) has increased the prescribed threshold for merger notifications in Zambia.

Effective 1 January 2023, the financial threshold for the mandatory notification of mergers to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has increased from ZMW 15 million (approximately USD 860 000) to ZMW 30 million (approximately USD 1.72 million) (New Threshold).

The increase follows the issuance, by the Minister, of the Competition and Consumer Protection (General) (Amendment) Regulations, SI Number 106 of 2022, to align with the Government’s objective of attracting and encouraging investment by reducing the cost of doing business in Zambia. 

In a press release dated 3 April 2023, the Minister reiterated Government’s intentions not to increase the costs of private investment, especially where an investor is investing in a Zambian company with combined assets or a turnover of less than ZMW 30 million. Transactions falling below the New Threshold will not be notifiable to the CCPC, and ultimately, the parties will not incur notification-related costs that would have otherwise been incurred.

The New Threshold is expected to reduce the number of mergers that are unnecessarily captured by the mandatory CCPC notification requirement. Therefore, we are unlikely to see a repeat of 2022, when filing activity rose steeply by 25% compared to 2021 and by 2% compared to the five-year average (based on CCPC notifications from 2018 to 2022).