Top deals and corporate moves making headlines this week

In focus this week: Alexander Forbes, Glencore, RH Bophelo, Simba Cement and more.


South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has approved the merger involving Glencore South Africa Oil Investment and Chevron South Africa, subject to a range of employment, production, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE), procurement, investment and other public interest conditions.

Glencore South Africa is acquiring 75 percent of the issued share capital of CSA, is a refiner and supplier of petroleum products in South Africa, from Off The Shelf Investments (OTS) 56. A notable condition is that Glencore must increase its B-BBEE shareholding in CSA from 25 percent to 35 percent over a period of seven years. Read more here


STOA Infra and Energy has purchased a 23.08 percent stake in Metro Fibre Networx in South Africa.

STOA is a joint stock French company owned by Caisse des D'ep^ots and Agence Francaise de D'eveloppement with a capital base of €600 million earmarked for investments in equity and quasi equity in developing and emerging countries in the power, telecommunications and transportation sectors, with a strong focus on Africa.

Metro Fibre was established in 2010 as a fibre connectivity provider to South African enterprises and has expanded its service offering to residential and corporate customers over the last eight years. STOA said telecommunications is a core sector focus for its future investments and South Africa is also one of its key targeted geographies. Read more here

RH Bophelo

RH Bophelo has acquired the Netcare Bell Street Hospital and the property on which the hospital operates in Gauteng.

RH Bophelo has acquired the hospital and the property from Netcare through its subsidiaries Demo Medical and Notamed for R55.2 million. The purchase consideration was funded by cash.

Netcare Bell Street Bell is a 31-bed private psychiatric hospital situated in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg. Netcare has also disposed of Netcare Rand Hospital to RH Managers for R68.8 million. The disposals were in line with certain conditions set by the Competition Tribunal in 2018 as a result of Netcare’s acquisition of Akeso Clinics for R1.3 billion.

Sovereign Foods

Sovereign Foods, the third largest poultry producer in South Africa, announced the acquisition of the Blue Hills hatchery in Midrand. The hatchery was previously known as Hyline Africa which was a commercial layer grandparent facility. “The acquisition of this hatchery allows us to be almost self-sufficient in the supply of day-old chicks.  It further centralises our day-old chick supply chain to our contract farmers in and around our Hartbeespoort abattoir,” said Chris Coombes, Sovereign Foods CEO.

Read more here

Calgro M3

Affordable-housing developer Calgro M3 has ended its joint venture with SA Corporate Real Estate, which is one of the partners in its rental business.

The joint venture was formed in 2016 with Calgro holding a 49 percent stake. Calgro was building rental houses for SA Corporate Real Estate through a joint venture, Africa Housing Company (Afhco) Calgro M3 Consortium.

The consortium will now be dissolved because the municipality for Johannesburg, South Africa did not provide electricity-supply infrastructure for the housing at its Fleurhof development in Gauteng, despite having agreed to do so.

Africa Housing Company (Afhco), a SA Corporate’s subsidiary, will acquire Calgro’s stake and will, as a result, own 100 percent of Jabulani and South Hills apartments.

One Finance 

Nigerian fintech start-up One Finance (OneFi) has acquired payments solution Amplify as it continues its progress towards becoming a full-service digital bank, according to a report by Disrupt Africa.

OneFi, which runs lending platform Paylater, is on an expansion push of its financial services offering after recently raising US$5 million in debt funding. The acquisition of Amplify will see the platform pivot to a one-stop-shop offering additional products such as savings, bill payments and credit reporting.

The value of the deal and OneFi’s shareholding in Amplify was not disclosed. Read more here.

Simba Cement

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the purchase of a West Pokot County-based cement firm Cemtech by Simba Cement which is set to grant the factory a lifeline following numerous failed efforts to commence operations, according to Business Daily Africa.

The competition regulator gave Simba Cement, a subsidiary of the Devki Group of Companies, the greenlight to buy 100 percent of the business and assets of Cemtech owned by Indian conglomerate Sanghi Group.

Cemtech has limestone and clay deposits, and the requisite licences in West Pokot County. The merged entity will have a market share of eight percent in the cement industry, according to CAK. Read more here.

Huge Group

Huge Group is merging independent telco company Otel with its networks business, Huge Networks (the Transactions). 

Huge Networks is a subsidiary company of the JSE-listed Huge Group and a data service provider and communications company. Otel is a nationwide provider of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and broadband Infrastructure-as-a-Service telecommunications solutions. 

The Transactions were implemented on March 14, 2019 and the Otel brand will be migrated to the Huge Networks brand during the course of 2019. 

The Transactions allow Huge Group to progress its ‘Growing Huge Strategy’ by scaling its operations and growing Huge’s real estate of customers. In addition, the Transactions expand both the national reach and footprint of Huge, while also increasing its network capacity and connectivity options and allowing for network synergies and efficiencies. 

Corporate moves

Alexander Forbes

South Africa’s Alexander Forbes has appointed Bruce Bydawell as CFO, ending the financial services firm’s five-month long period without having a permanent finance chief.

The company announced that Bruce will take over as CFO from April 1, replacing former CFO Naidene Ford-Hoon, who resigned in October 2018. Since then Alexander Forbes didn’t have a permanent CFO.

Bruce, a qualified chartered accountant, has over 25 years’ experience in finance, audit, accounting, taxation, financial reporting, debt structuring and corporate finance. He has been with Alexander Forbes for more than 16 years. Read more here