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The Competition Tribunal has approved Italtile’s binding offer from July 2016 to buy up to a further 74.5% in Ceramic Industries, the tiles, sanitaryware and bathware manufacturer of which it already owns 21%. The sale was approved on condition that Italtile employees may not gain access to any information on Ceramic relating to third-party customers. “We are delighted this acquisition has finally been approved after a protracted 18-month process,” Italtile CEO Jan Potgieter said on Wednesday. “We look forward to implementing the merger programme which will capitalise on opportunities that exist in the two businesses. We have confidence in the potential of the combined entity and the market, and will continue to commit investment to realise further growth.” The merger comes less than a month after Italtile said trading conditions and consumer sentiment deteriorated in the year to June 2017 as a result of poor economic growth in SA. It said this had caused an industry-wide fall in sa...

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