Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Naspers, MTN, Ethio Telecom, Aveng and more.


MTN’s SA business, which has a micro-insurance partnership with financial services group MMI, has also partnered with Sanlam to provide a range of financial services via MTN’s digital platforms.

The partnership, announced on Tuesday, will see Sanlam, which is the largest insurer on the African continent, offer its insurance products on MTN’s mobile app, Web site and USSD platforms.

According to Business Day, MTN had identified an opportunity for R90 billion in revenue each year for the next three years across their markets. In other words, MTN is eyeing revenue of about R270 billion in the next three years. Read more here


Naspers, which is Africa’s largest technology company by market capitalisation, is expanding its presence in Asia. 

Naspers’s payments and fintech subsidiary, PayU, on Friday announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Red Dot Payment (RDP), a Southeast Asia-focused online payments business. The deal is valued at $65 million. PayU CEO Laurent le Moal said the investment was PayU’s “first step towards expansion in the Southeast Asia region”. Read more here

Emira Property Fund

South Africa-based Emira Property Fund said it plans to buy out SA Corporate Real Estate, in another indication that consolidation in the real estate industry is gathering momentum. A successful acquisition of SA Corporate Real Estate by Emira is set to create a real estate group worth about R16 billion.

Emira said it plans to offer 0.25 of its shares for every issued SA Corporate share. That ratio implies a 23.2 percent premium based on the companies’ closing prices on June 6, it said. Read more here

Ethio Telecom

Ethiopia’s government said it will grant two telecommunications licences to private firms and sell a minority stake in Ethio Telecom, the sole operator, as the government opens sectors long closed to outsiders.

According to AFP, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced in 2018 plans to privatise a swathe of industries and allow foreign and private investors into key state-owned companies in an effort to attract new players to the economy.

State minister of finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina unveiled plans “to sell up to a 49 percent stake in Ethio-Telecom to private firms and give telecom licences to two private telecom operators”. Read more here

Arrowhead Properties

Real estate companies Arrowhead Properties and Gemgrow Properties are moving closer to a merger, which is expected to be completed by the end of January 2020.

Gemgrow Properties will take over Arrowhead Properties, with the diversified real estate group having made a formal offer on Monday to buy out its shares. Both companies have signed an offer and implementation agreement by which Gemgrow will acquire all of the Arrowhead shares excluding the treasury shares and issue to the scheme participants 0.8237 new Gemgrow B ordinary shares.

Arrowhead owns 53.3 percent of Gemgrow. As the transaction will be implemented as a reverse take-over of Gemgrow by Arrowhead, Gemgrow will change its name to Arrowhead Properties.


Struggling construction group Aveng has sold its pumps and valves business, Aveng Dynamic Fluid Control (DFC) for R165 million.

Aveng DFC is a manufacturer and supplier of valves and pumps for the water, effluent and mineral processing industries.

The company has entered into a binding sale of its Aveng DFC business unit to Copaflo Fluid Control for R129 million. Copaflo is a 100 percent black owned investment company investing in engineering and manufacturing businesses. As part of the transaction, the property owned by Dimopoint, and in which Aveng has a 30 percent stake, will also be sold for R36 million.

The total value of the deal is R165 million. Aveng unveiled a strategy in 2018 that entailed the disposal of noncore assets. These include construction business Grinaker-LTA, Trident Steel and Aveng Manufacturing.

Knife Capital

Knife Capital, the Cape Town-based venture capital company, has invested an undisclosed sum in Cradle Technology Services, a leader in warehousing solutions for small businesses.

Last year Cradle was one of the 10 companies selected for the fourth cohort of the Knife Capital’s Grindstone Accelerator programme. Knife Capital partner Keet van Zyl said in a statement that the business had been “bootstrapped to date” and that the investment is a “Series-A” round. The business today has 35 employees.

Cradle Technology Services in 2010 developed a barcode-based warehouse management software called Granite.

Since its launch, Knife Capital said the software has become a leader in warehousing solutions for small businesses and is focused on integration with Sage 300, Sage 200 Evolution, SAP B1 or as a standalone operation. It is currently implemented in over 100 sites across three continents and in over 40 different industry sectors.


OPay a Nigerian provider of mobile payment service and consumer platform has raised $50 million in funding.

The funds will be used to grow the business in Nigeria and expand into additional African markets, leveraging its brand and app into adjacent verticals including motorbike ridesharing and food delivery services. Investors in the funding round include IDG Capital, Sequoia China and Source Code Capital.