Top deals and corporate moves making headlines this week

In focus this week: Woolworths, Orange, Clover, Group Five and more.

Clover Industries

Consumer goods firm Clover Industries received a R4.8 billion buyout offer from a consortium of companies, including Brimstone Investment Corporation and the executive management of Clover.

Clover announced on Monday that its shareholders have been offered R25 per share from a consortium called Milco, which plans to delist the company from the JSE.

The R25 per share offer represents a 25 percent premium to Clover’s closing price of R20 on Friday.  The Clover shares rose as much as 21 percent to a record R24.22 on Monday morning.

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French telecommunications company Orange has acquired UK-based cyber security service provider, Secure Data Group, a move that will see it bolster its service delivery in the African continent.

Orange said it plans to acquire 100 percent of SecureData Group for an undisclosed amount.

Orange told local media outlet ITWeb that the acquisition of Secure Data, including its South African operations, will strengthen its service offering in the rest of Africa. Secure Data’s South African operations will support its recently established office in Morocco.

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Sea Harvest Group 

South Africa's Sea Harvest Group has made an all cash offer to buy the 43 percent remaining stake in Mareterram that it doesn't already own, the company announced on Tuesday.

Sea Harvest, the JSE-listed listed fishing enterprise controlled by investment firm Brimstone Investment Corporation, already owns a 56.3 percent stake in Mareterram, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Sea Harvest said the deal is inline with its strategy of investing in well managed, sustainable, vertically integrated fishing and agri-business around the world.

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Coca-Cola Beverages Africa

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa(CCBA), Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler, has announced that it has received regulatory approval to acquire Fairy Bottling, a Zambia-based beverages company.

According to Lusaka Times, a local media outlet, the deal is effective from February 4, 2019. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Fairy Bottling produces Aqua Savana, Super Maheu (fermented maize beverage) and other soft drinks. Under the deal, CCBA has acquired Fairy Bottling’s production facility in Lusaka and the sales and distribution infrastructure. This is set to make CCBA a more cost-effective beverage producer and distributor in Zambia.

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RH Bophelo 

Private hospital group, RH Bophelo, announced that it plans to acquire 51.0 percent of the issued capital of Medicare Private Hospital located in Rustenburg and 51 percent of the property on which the hospital operates.

The company will pay R57 million for the acquisition of the stake in Medicare Private Hospital and R92.7 million for the property, the company said.

RH Bophelo said both deals will be funded through a combination of cash, shares and debt facilities.

Medicare Private Hospital is an acute 110 bed independent private hospital conveniently located in Rustenberg, North West Province. The hospital was officially established in 2009 and began as a 36 bed sub-acute hospital and has subsequently grown incrementally.

About 93.4 percent of the entire issued share capital of Medicare Private Hospital is currently owned by John Robert Charles Beaumont and Belinda McGillewie with the remaining 6.6 percent being held by a special purpose vehicle set up for the purpose of establishing an equity ownership scheme for the doctors of the hospital.


Corporate moves


Group Five

Group Five, one of South Africa’s remaining and largest construction companies, has announced that its CEO Themba Mosai has resigned with effect from January 31, 2019.

Group Five’s share price fell as much as 44 percent and closed 30 percent down at 75 cents on Friday after the company announced Themba’s resignation.

Themba had been with Group Five for 15 years, initially as managing director of subsidiary Intertoll Africa. He was ap pointed group CEO in May 2017, a few months after the sudden resignation of his predecessor Eric Vemer.

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Public Investment Corporation 

South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) said on Tuesday that its board of directors is “still in place” despite a dramatic mass resignation of its directors.

The PIC manages the Government Employees Pension Fund’s (GEPF) investments amounting to nearly R2 trillion – making the PIC the largest and most influential investor in South Africa’s and Africa’s economy.

On Friday, the entire PIC board of nonexecutive directors wrote to South Africa’s Tito Mboweni and asked to be relieved of its duties. A total of nine directors resigned from the board, excluding the PIC’s acting CEO Matshepo More.

This follows several controversies at the PIC that included allegations of corruption and maladministration against four of the directors, including deputy finance minister and chair Mondli Gungubele

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Sun International

South Africa’s hotel operator Sun International has appointed well-renowned businessman, Jabu Mabuza, as its non-executive chairman, the company announced on Wednesday.

Sun International said Jabu will be appointed after the end of its annual general meeting to be held on May 14, 2019 as his appointment will be subjected to a vote by shareholders.

Jabu’s appointment was announced along with the retirement of Sun International’s current chairman, Valli Moosa, who will not be standing for re-election as director at the company’s annual general meeting.

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Woolworths, South Africa’s food and clothing retailer, said David Thomas, the CEO of its Australian department chain David Jones has resigned for “personal reasons.”

Woolworths said on Thursday in a statement that a replacement for David would be announced in “due course.”

David becomes the fourth CEO at David Jones to resign in five years.

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