Top deals and corporate moves making headlines this week

In focus this week: Ascendis Health, Anglo American, Standard Bank and Clover.

Ascendis Health

Health and wellness group Ascendis Health said it will sell three businesses within its Biosciences division to a consortium for R480 million, the company announced on Thursday.

Ascendis will sell the Efekto, Marltons and Afrikelp businesses as part of a strategic review, which is aimed at improving performance through focusing on organic growth, improved cash generation and enhanced profitability.

Ascendis will sell the Efekto, Marltons and Afrikelp businesses to a consortium comprising RMB Ventures Seven Proprietary, Nedbank Private Equity and certain members of the management of the Ascendis Biosciences division. Read more here

Anglo American

Anglo American has signed a 20-year deal worth about $1.5 billion (R22 billion) with pellet producer Bahrain Steel BSC for the supply of iron ore.

Anglo will supply up to 8 million tonnes (mt) /year of pellet feed, providing Bahrain Steel's two production lines in Hidd with around 60 percent of their expected needs based on annual rated total capacity of 12 million mt/year of pellets.

Bahrain Steel said it had been in talks with Anglo American since May 2018 to agree the new supply agreement, which replaced an earlier agreement from 2012. Read more here

Standard Bank

Standard Bank Group and Microsoft announced a new strategic partnership that will help to transform the bank’s technology estate and internal corporate functions. The partnership will enable the largest bank in Africa to accelerate its digital transformation journey significantly improving its employee experience.

The partnership will see Microsoft providing cloud services for the bank’s internal corporate functions such as treasury, finance, employee productivity and human resources.  This forms part of Standard Bank’s multi-cloud approach and strengthens its long-term relationship with Microsoft. Read more here


The acquisition of South Africa’s biggest dairy producer Clover Industries by a consortium called Milco has been delayed and will no longer be finalised on May 3, 2019.

In an update to shareholders, Clover said a new finalisation date will be released once the deal meets various conditions including the approval from competition authorities. Read more here

Bushveld Minerals 

Bushveld Minerals, a South Africa-based and London listed integrated primary vanadium producer, has acquired Vanchem Vanadium Products.

The Vanchem plant is a primary vanadium producing facility with a beneficiation plant capable of producing various vanadium oxides, ferro-vanadium and vanadium chemicals. Vanadium are used in making long-duration batteries that can be used by power utilities and companies that consume intensive energy. Read more here


Fintech holding company Crossfin has acquired a stake in InsurTech start-up Nobuntu, which focuses on bringing affordable pension savings products to lower income workers, for an undisclosed amount.

Crossfin didn’t disclose its actual acquired stake in Nobuntu only saying it’s “significant”. Crossfin concluded the deal through its Blue Garnet Ventures angel investment arm, which is also backed by Investec Private Capital, through its Emerging Companies mandate. Read more here

GRL Steel 

South Africa-based bending, fabricating and steel cutting company GRL Steel has been acquired for an undisclosed amount by black women consortium led by the Akhona Group and Xitsavi SPV.

The consortium has acquired a majority 51 percent economic interest in the business, and GRL Steel has changed its name to Borwa Steel Services with immediate effect. The deal is set to position the new company at the forefront of transformation in a sector that is still male dominated. Read more here

Corporate moves


Riaan Stassen, one of the founders of Capitec Bank, has decided to retire at the end of May 2019, the South Africa-based commercial bank announced on Thursday.

“Riaan played an integral role in the establishment and success of the bank from 2001 to 2013 when he retired as chief executive officer of Capitec and Capitec Bank,” the company said in a statement. Riaan has served as non-executive chairman of the boards from 2016 and will retire on May 31, 2019. Read more here

Pick n Pay 

South Africa-based retailer Pick n Pay announced on Friday that its finance chief, Bakar Jakoet, is set to retire.

Bakar has been Pick n Pay’s finance chief since 2011 but he has been with the group for 34 years. Bakar, 62, will remain in the position until a successor is appointed, Pick n Pay said. Thereafter, he will serve in a non-executive capacity on Pick n Pay’s board. Pick n Pay said it was finalising the appointment of a successor and shareholders will be updated in due course. Read more here


Massmart, the Walmart-owned retailer that operates Game and Makro stores, announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Mohammed Abdool-Samad as its finance chief with effect from August 1, 2019. Mohammed succeeds Johannes (Hans) van Lierop.  Johannes decided to step down as CFO and executive director at the end of July 2019 but will remain at Massmart until later in the year. 

Read more here