Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Sibanye, Vodacom, RDI Reit, Aramco and more.

Sibanye

Sibanye-Stillwater has acquired a majority shareholding in DRDGold, in a deal the company described as creating an industry-leading surface mining partnership. DRDGold is a surface gold miner. 

The company, which last year concluded a R5.17 billion takeover of cash-strapped Lonmin, increased its shareholding in DRDGold from 38.05 percent to 50.1 percent, and the option was exercised on 8 January 2020, following approval by DRDGold shareholders in March 2018.

“By securing the majority holding in DRDGold, a leading surface mining and processing company, we continue to create value for all stakeholders in line with our vision,” said Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman (pictured). Read more here.

Vodacom

Vodacom is in talks with Cell C about taking on the smaller rival’s contract-paying cellphone customers, a move that would strengthen its position as SA’s telecom market leader, according to people familiar with the matter to Bloomberg.

Vodacom would gain just more than one-million high-paying subscribers from the deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are ongoing. The talks are at an early stage and could still fall apart, according to a Bloomberg article.  Cell C and its biggest shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, are looking at ways to cut costs and strengthen the balance sheet as they battle to service R9 billion of debt. 

Read more here.

RDI Reit

Real estate firm RDI Reit, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, has sold four assets in Germany and the UK for nearly R2 billion as it launches a turnaround strategy after it was impacted by the uncertainty over Brexit. 

RDI Reit, in which South Africa’s second largest real estate group Redefine Properties is the majority shareholder (holding 29.44 percent), sold an office in the UK and three shopping centres in Germany as part of this strategy, which involves shifting its focus primarily to British hotels, light industrial warehouses and flexible-term offices with its retail assets becoming secondary. Read more here.

Prosus

Prosus hasn’t lost its appetite for food delivery, even after the e-commerce giant was defeated in a gruelling $8 billion bidding war for U.K. firm Just Eat.

Takeaway.com NV last week declared victory in the battle for Just Eat, saying investors holding 80.4 percent of the shares had formally backed its all-stock bid and rejected a cash offer from Prosus. But the Naspers- controlled company has alternative targets to pursue, head of ventures and food, Larry Illg told Bloomberg.

“We continue to look at lots of different options in this space,” Larry said. One option for further expansion could even see Amsterdam-based Prosus going back to the negotiating table with Takeaway, which is based in the same city. Read more here.

Vodafone Ghana 

Vodafone Ghana has acquired a stake in Vodacom Business Ghana (VBG), following the purchase of the entire shares of the Vodacom Group.

The move will allow Vodafone Ghana to assimilate VBG’s operations into its existing business to provide a seamless transition for existing clients and employees. According to a statement from Vodafone Ghana, Vodafone and Vodacom would continue to collaborate in Ghana through a pan-African partnership model for enterprise clients.

The transaction, which had received regulatory approval, supports Vodacom Group’s refocused enterprise strategy in Africa, which seeks to grow and strengthen its core business and aligns with Vodafone’s strategy to consolidate its African assets. Read more here.

Aramco

State-owned oil company Saudi Aramco says it has exercised its “greenshoe option” to sell an additional 450- million shares, raising the size of its initial public offering (IPO) to a record $29.4 billion.

Aramco initially raised $25.6 billion, which was itself a record level, in its December IPO by selling 3-billion shares at 32 riyals a share. But it had indicated it could sell additional shares through the over-allotment of shares.

A greenshoe option, or over-allotment, allows companies to issue more shares in an IPO when there is greater demand from participants in the initial offer. Investors were allocated the additional shares during book-building, Aramco said. Read more here.