After a year of bitter opposition, a competition watchdog recently approved Kansai Paint’s $260 million takeover bid of Freeworld Coatings. This deal represents a significant push into the continent for Japan’s largest paint and coatings maker with $2.4 billion in sales revenue. Despite more than 90 percent of Freeworld shareholders indicating they favored the takeover, the company had bitterly opposed the offer since Kansai made it in April last year. South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry made a submission to the commission asking that the takeover be prohibited on the grounds that the paint market was highly concentrated, and it constituted a threat to the government’s localization drive. The commission agreed with the department and gave the green light to the transaction on the condition that Kansai divested the automotive coatings business it operated in a joint venture with DuPont, as it would create a “forum for collusion.” According to the deal, Kansai must manufacture decorative coatings in South Africa for 10 years; establish a manufacturing facility within five years and invest in local research and development.