Top deals and corporate moves making headlines this week

In focus this week: Group Five, Jumia, Old Mutual, GoDaddy, African Bank and more.

Group Five

South Africa’s construction group Group Five has been placed in business rescue and its shares have been suspended on the JSE.

Group Five is in a difficult position and continues to incur losses given South Africa’s slow economy and declining infrastructure spend by the government. Group Five and its subsidiaries including G5 Construction have been experiencing cash flow difficulties due to significant operating losses and negative cash flows, the company said.

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Jumia, the African e-commerce company of German start-up investor Rocket Internet, has filed for a New York initial public offering (IPO), according to a report by Reuters.

The IPO of Jumia, which was founded in 2012 to offer online shopping, logistics and payment services, could value it at $1.6 billion or more.

The company said its business is expanding, and the continent’s development will make it a better market, with a growing young population, more infrastructure investments, urbanisation and rapid economic growth.

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Old Mutual

Old Mutual, South Africa’s investment, savings, insurance, and banking group, plans to spend up to R2 billion in buying back shares from its shareholders.

“Following a review of all capital available at 31 December 2018, and taking into account capital and liquidity projections to the end of the 2019 financial year, we have identified sufficient excess capital available to conduct on market share buybacks for up to R2 billion,” the company announced on Monday.

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GoDaddy, one of the world’s largest cloud platform, has announced its presence in South Africa.

By formally entering the market, GoDaddy said it will engage more closely with small business owners and entrepreneurs in the country, and offer more tools and support to help them build a powerful online presence and grow their business.

GoDaddy said it plans to deliver locally relevant online tools and solutions and be a partner for South African customers’ entrepreneurial journey, including naming their idea and building a professional website, attracting and engaging with customers online, and managing their work and driving results.

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Naspers wants to spend about $1 billion in India this year as it scours the globe for investments that can replicate its blockbuster bet on China’s Tencent, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Naspers, which is Africa’s largest company by market value, is in talks to inject about $200 million into business loan provider Capital Float and payments security firm Wimbo as a first step.

Crossfin Technology

Crossfin Technology has invested an undisclosed amount in Retail Capital, a South African-based provider of alternative business funding to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.

Crossfin Technology didn’t disclose its interest in Retail Capital only saying that the deal consists of a “significant minority interest.”

Retail Capital provides businesses with innovative, flexible and convenient alternatives to traditional business loans. Since its establishment in 2011, it has partnered with more than 5 000 SME’s in providing funding of more than R1.25 billion (about US$83 billion).

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Corporate moves

African Bank

African Bank, a small South African lender which has emerged from being placed under curatorship by the country’s central bank, has appointed Thabo Dloti (pictured), a former CEO of insurer Liberty Holdings, as its chairman and non-executive director.

Thabo will be a permanent replacement for Louis von Zeuner, who left African Bank in July 2018.

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South African retailer Woolworths said it has appointed David Kneale, the former CEO of beauty and health retailer Clicks, to its board.  

Woolworths said David, who stepped down as CEO of Clicks at the end of 2018 after 13 years at the helm, has been appointed an independent nonexecutive director of Woolworths, effective on March 11.

David has more than 40 years of local and international retail experience in senior leadership and executive roles, Woolworths said.

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South African technology group, Altron, has appointed Cedric Miller as CFO effective from May 1.

Miller, who has been member of a number of board and executive committees within Standard Bank, “has a strong commercial acumen and a proven record of delivering insights into strategy implementation and executive decision-making in high-performance teams”, Altron said.

Miller’s most recent capacity in the Standard Bank Group has been as CFO for Personal and Business Banking (Global)

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