Top deals and corporate moves making headlines this week

In focus this week: Cell C, De Beers, Sasfin, Helios Towers and more.

De Beers

De Beers Group, which is 85 percent owned by Anglo American, announced on Monday an initiative to consolidate its mining assets in South Africa and Canada into one business called De Beers Group Managed Operations.

The new business will streamline operational management and identify synergies to create a sustainable business in the two countries. De Beers Group Managed Operations will focus on Venetia Mine, Gahcho Kué Mine and De Beers Marine under one leadership team.

De Beers said the restructuring was necessitated by the company’s reduced mining footprint in South Africa and Canada due to the closures of Snap Lake and Voorspoed Mines, along with the imminent closure of Victor Mine during May 2019.

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Helios Towers

Telecommunications tower operator, Helios Towers, plans to have more than 100 active towers in SA by the end of April, according to a report by Business Day. Helios Towers is a leading independent tower company, with over 6,500 towers in four key markets (Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Congo Brazzaville). Helios Towers CEO Kash Pandya told Business Day that the group aimed to have close to 500 towers “up and running” in the country by the end of 2019.

The company plans to spend about $100 million on building network infrastructure in SA over the next three years.

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Vunani 

South Africa’s fund manager Vunani Limited said on Tuesday that its subsidiary Telos plans to acquire 67 percent of Metropolitan Life Swaziland for R55 million from Metropolitan International.

The remaining balance of 33 percent will continue to be held by Eswatini Development and Savings Bank, which originally invested in MetLife Swaziland in 2010. Metropolitan Life Swaziland is an insurance company and has provided both long-term and short-term insurance products, solely in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), since 2008.

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Hoorah Digital 

South African digital marketing consultancy Hoorah Digital acquired design firm Ritual Studio, a move that is set to boost the former’s creative design capabilities.

The value of the deal or Hoorah Digital’s shareholding in Ritual Studio was not disclosed. Ritual Studio was established in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017 as a production partner in the computer-generated imaging domain and offers a broad range of services including interface design, animation and gaming.

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Blue Label Telecoms

South Africa’s Blue Label Telecoms said that a consortium has agreed to become a minority shareholder in Cell C, South Africa’s third-biggest mobile operator.

Blue Label, which owns 45 percent of Cell C, said the Buffet Consortium, backed by billionaire Jonathan Beare, would become a minority shareholder in the mobile operator, in an effort to change its fortunes.

“With Buffet support, the Cell C balance sheet will be bolstered and ensure Cell C’s sustainable growth for the future,” Blue Label said in a statement to shareholders.

“A further detailed announcement will be made once the parties have executed the transaction documents required to give effect to the principles recorded in the binding term sheet.”

The announcement came hours after Blue Label said Cell C’s chief executive, Jose Dos Santos, would step down at the end of February from the post he had occupied since 2014.

Tradehold

Tradehold said had been approached by a private property investor to invest R833 million directly into its portfolio of South African property assets and R200 million rand into Tradehold.

To facilitate this investment Tradehold has announced it is to reorganise its South African subsidiaries by creating a South Africa holding company, the Collins Group.

The investment into the Collins Group will be roughly equal to a 27 percent stake. R500 million will be in cash while the remaining R333 million will be lent to the Investor by Collins Group.

Once the Collins Group subscription has been completed, the Investor will acquire an option to invest R200 million in Tradehold through a combination of the subscription for new Tradehold shares and the purchase of Tradehold's treasury shares.

The option price is R16 per share.

Liberty

Liberty Holdings is selling the technology platform which supports its short-term insurance business to Standard Bank, for R145 million.

The purchase consideration of R145 million will be payable in cash. The rational for the disposal is in line with Liberty's refocus on South Africa retail long-term insurance and asset management operations and provides the company with the opportunity to reduce future capital requirements and de-risk its business.

Liberty said it developed a short-term insurance technology solution which enables its financial advisers to offer a more comprehensive product offering that supports clients on their life journey.

Rex Trueform

Rex Trueform has advised shareholders that it has introduced new third-party shareholders into wholly-owned subsidiary Ombrecorp Trading. Rex Trueform's shareholding will dilute to 52 percent.

The company also announced the acquisition by SA Water Works (SAWW) of SA Water Works Utilities which holds 52 percent stake in Silulumanzi and the remaining 48 percent stake in Silulumanzi from Sembcorp Utilities (Netherlands).

The total purchase consideration for the Silulumanzi acquisition is R724 million.

 

Corporate moves

Cell C

South Africa’s telecommunications company Cell C announced on Friday that its CEO Jose Dos Santos will step down.

His resignation is effective from 1 March 2019 and ends his five-year long tenure as the company’s CEO. In a statement, Cell C said Jose will take up a role as a consultant offering strategic advice to the chairman of the Cell C board.

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