Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: JUMO, Shoprite, Imperial Logistics, Tongaat and more.


African fintech company JUMO has raised $55 million (about R841 million) in debt and equity funding from undisclosed new and existing investors.

Founded in London in 2015, JUMO has developed a full technology stack for building and running financial services.

The firm has partnered with financial service providers and mobile networkoperators to provide financial solutions to customers, including savings, lending and insurance products, allowing anyone with a cellphone access to financial services. The Cape Town-based company operates in six markets: Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, with a presence in various parts of the globe.

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South Africa-based retail giant Shoprite Holdings and specialist high-end warehouse owner Equites Property Fund have established a R4 billion joint venture property company to house a R2 billion portfolio of distribution centres and associated undeveloped land in Brackenfell in the Western Cape and Centurion in Gauteng.

The joint venture will manage this logistics portfolio and will undertake future property acquisition and development opportunities as they arise with Equites as the developer. Equites will inject R2.1 billion in cash into the joint venture, in exchange for a 50.1 percent equity stake in the joint venture property company. Shoprite will hold a 49.9 percent stake in the venture. 

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Technology group Sebata on Tuesday announced the sale of a majority stake in its Software Group Companies subsidiary for R501.9 million to Inzalo Capital Holdings in a bid to improve its empowerment credentials, according to a Business Day article. 

Sebata, which specialises in servicing the public sector, sold a 55 percent stake in its Software Group Companies, which is made up of Sebata Municipal Solutions, R-Data and MICROmega Accounting and Professional Services (MAPS), which are all wholly owned subsidiaries of the company. A further 5 percent stake will be donated to Inzalo by Sebata.

Sebata Municipal Solutions provides enterprise management systems and professional services for municipalities and provincial governments, R-Data provides public sector accounting system solutions, and MAPS is an accredited training office focusing on educating accounting students.

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Imperial Logistics 

South Africa-based transport group Imperial Logistics expects to conclude the sale of its European shipping business by the end of June 2020 and turn its focus in entering the international freight industry, said CEO Mohammed Akoojee.

The company, which has bemoaned weak economic growth in SA, disposed of the struggling consumer packaged goods business in 2019. An acquisition of a freight business will add freight management capability to its portfolio, Mohammed said.

He has previously said that buying a freight business was key to Imperial’s competitiveness. Speaking after the unbundling of listed automotive holding company Motus in 2018, he said Imperial’s peers and tier-one logistics groups had freight companies in their portfolios.

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Embattled sugar producer Tongaat Hulett, which wants to reduce its South Africa debt by R8.1 billion by March 2021, said its subsidiary Tongaat Hulett Developments has concluded the sale of an Umhlanga Rocks property to real estate developer, Balwin Properties, for over R167.2 million.

In a shareholder notice, Tongaat said the property is situated within the Izinga Precinct north of Umhlanga Ridge and above the town of Umhlanga Rocks. A portion of the property is zoned for the immediate construction of 335 residential apartments.

"The property is designed for clients looking for affordable living combined with the tranquillity of coastal life and a rich natural environment. The Property is minutes away from the commercial hub of Umhlanga,” the notice said.

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Mahindra, Ford

South Africa’s competition authority has recommended the approval to vehicle makers Mahindra & Mahindra and Ford to establish a joint venture that will export vehicles manufactured in India across the world.

The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction between both vehicle makers “without conditions”. The two companies will now have a joint venture in a new company Ardour Automotive Private Ltd (Ardour).

Ardour, incorporated in India, will house the business of Ford India Private, which is Ford’s wholly owned subsidiary.

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Hammerson, the UK-focused real estate company that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, has offloaded its out-of-town retail parks for £455 million (R8.9 billion) as it looks to reduce its £3 billion (R58.6 billion) debt pile and shield itself from the high-street crisis.

The property group is selling seven sites, including Elliott’s Field in Rugby and the Cyfarthfa park in Merthyr Tydfil, to the London-based private equity firm Orion for £400 million. The sale of two other parks has raised another £55 million.

However, in a sign of the tough market conditions faced by retail property groups, the parks are being sold at a knock-down price. According to the Guardian Newspaper, the £455 million raised is 22 percent less than the properties were valued at last summer.

Read more here.