Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Anglo American Platinum, Footgear, Bidvest, Actis, Rebosis and more.

Footgear

Old Mutual’s private equity arm is backing a plan by Footgear to acquire the Edgars Active and High Key chain stores, divisions of the Edcon Group.

Footgear plans to combine Edcon’s Edgars Active and High Key assets and rebrand existing stores under the Footgear name, in which Old Mutual holds a majority stake. The deal would be funded from a R3.7 billion fund previously raised by the Johannesburg-based insurer.

The acquisition is funded by the private equity investing arm of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI) and marks a significant milestone in the expansion ambition of Footgear. The deal would give Footgear 180 stores and help Edcon restructure debt after it secured $191 million to recapitalise the business in March.

Anglo American Platinum and Platinum Group Metals

Anglo American Platinum and Platinum Group Metals have launched a joint venture (JV) to develop next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium.

Called Lion Battery Technologies, the JV has also signed an agreement with Florida International University to further develop a research programme that uses the metals to release the potential of lithium air and lithium sulphur battery chemistries to increase their discharge capacities and cyclability.

Under the terms of the agreement with Florida International University, Lion will gain full rights to all intellectual property developed. It will also lead all commercialisation efforts.

The new venture is currently in the process of reviewing various additional and complementary opportunities focused on developing next-generation battery technology using platinum and palladium.

Aveng

Struggling construction group Aveng plans to sell its Rand Roads business unit to Ultra Asphalt to strengthen its financial position.

This followed a strategic review concluded last year wherein the Rand Roads business was identified as noncore. The proposed transaction consideration is R30-million plus the value of inventory as at the effective date (currently estimated at R7.5-million) with a further working capital adjustment.

Rand Roads is a specialist division within Aveng Grinaker-LTA and its service offering covers the full supply chain for road rehabilitation and infrastructure. Ultra Asphalt is a new investment special purpose vehicles whose shareholders have a 10 percent interest in a plant-hire operating business in South Africa specialising in mining, heavy plant equipment, quarries, road development, road construction and rehabilitation and water supply.

Bidvest 

South Africa-based industrial group Bidvest has entered into an agreement to acquire Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics from JSE-listed industrial group enX for R3.1 billion.

Eqstra provides full fleet management solutions, including leasing, maintenance, vehicle tracking and insurance, for passenger and commercial vehicles. The company’s footprint spans across sub-Saharan Africa.

The company has around 12 300 vehicles under lease and 120 000 fleet products under management, with leasing assets totalling R2.6 billion and yearly profit after tax averaging R143 million. Read more here

Actis

Private equity firm Actis said on Monday it had acquired the rights to manage two private equity funds previously managed by collapsed buyout firm Abraaj, in a deal aimed at strengthening its position in the Middle East and Africa.

Actis will take over the management rights to Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV and Abraaj Africa fund III, it said in a statement.

Abraaj, which filed for provisional liquidation in June 2018, was the largest buyout fund in the Middle East and North Africa until it collapsed in 2018 in the aftermath of a row with investors over the use of money in a $1 billion healthcare fund. Read more here

Rebosis Property Fund 

South Africa-based real estate company Rebosis Property Fund said it will sell its 49.4 percent shareholding in UK shopping mall owner New Frontier Properties for just R700, as it continues to sell its assets to reduce its debt load.

“The board of directors of Rebosis is of the opinion that the shareholding in New Frontier has been one of the reasons for a depressed Rebosis share price, due to the challenges New Frontier is facing, being declining shopping mall valuations in the UK as a result of, among other matters, Brexit,” the company said on Friday.

The buyers of Rebosis’ stake in New Frontier are Edwin Henry Dednam and Orion Hotels & Resorts (Africa). Read more here

Investec

South Africa-based asset management firm Investec Asset Management has bought a controlling stake in supermarket chain Spinneys Egypt.

The acquisition, which its value was not disclosed, will be concluded through Investec’s pan-African private equity fund,

“The business is one of the leading grocery retail players in Egypt, having expanded to a current footprint of 13 outlets, comprising two hypermarkets and 11 supermarkets, and including two new openings in the last eight months,” Investec Asset Management said without disclosing the deal’s value. Read more here

Africa Finance Corporation

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a leading infrastructure solutions provider in Africa, has invested $100 million in Aker Energy A.S, the funds of which will be used to finance the development of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block, a block offshore Ghana containing multiple oil fields.

AFC’s support is through investing in US$100 million of convertible bond notes with an intention to participate in follow on fund raising activities. 

The Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block is owned by joint venture partners, including Aker Energy (50 percent), Lukoil (38 percent), Fueltrade (2 percent) and a 10 percent carry for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, a wholly owned by the Government of Ghana.

This investment is aligned with AFC’s overall natural resources strategy, which entails building a portfolio of value added assets across the Energy value chain.