Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Group Five, Vodacom, Naspers, MTN and more.

Naspers

South Africa’s Competition Commission said the acquisition of vehicle-purchasing service WeBuyCars by technology giant Naspers should be blocked because it could lead to higher used-car prices in South Africa.

The commission said that it is concerned that the proposed merger would result in the foreclosure of WeBuyCars’ competitors on the sell side.

MIH eCommerce, an entity of the Naspers that also has investments in classifieds business OLX and the AutoTrader platform, wants to acquire a 60 percent state in South Africa-based WeBuyCars. Read more here

MTN

Telecommunications company, MTN, said it has received approval to list on the premium board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with its market debut set for May 16, 2019.

The listing will be done by way of an introductory listing, the company said. This means that the shares of existing MTN Nigeria shareholders will be listed without an additional public sale of shares. And all MTN Nigeria shareholders will be free to trade their shares on the NSE. Read more here

Group Five

Struggling construction company Group Five, which is in business rescue, has entered into binding agreements for the sale of some of its assets that will generate R709 million.

The South Africa based company has disposed of stakes in three companies; a 40.1 percent stake in Intertoll Capital Partners, 50 percent stake in Barnes Reinforcing Industries, 28.9 percent stake in Jozi Power plus land, plant and assets for a total value of R709 million.

The company went into business rescue in March 2019 after it could not obtain additional funding from a consortium of lenders. The rescue plan is scheduled for release by the end of June. “The business rescue proceedings are progressing under challenging conditions, but with greater stability after approximately eight weeks under administration,” the company said.

African Battery Metals

London-listed battery metal exploration and development company, African Battery Metals, has entered into a share acquisition and earn-in agreement regarding a nickel - platinum group metals (PGM) opportunity in Botswana.

African Battery Metals has acquired an 18.26 percent stake in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration for $194,810.

Kalahari Key is an exploration company that is based in Botswana with a 100 percent interest in the Molopo Farms Complex (MFC) project in south-west Botswana.

African Battery Metals is also expected to opt for an earn-in to a 40 percent direct project interest in the MFC Project by spending $500 000 by December 31, 2020 on ground exploration, primarily for the completion of drilling of four targets at the MFC Project. Read more here

Huge Group

JSE-listed technology firm Huge Group has agreed to acquire a shareholding in Pansmart, which gives the company control over distributing Panasonic’s voice, video and CCTV products.

The company didn’t disclose the shareholding acquired or the value of the deal. The acquisition took effect on May 13, 2019. While Pansmart will retain its name, it will incorporate Huge Group branding alongside its current branding. Read more here.

Vodacom

Telecommunications company, Vodacom, announced on Monday that it plans to acquire a 51 percent stake in South Africa’s Internet of things specialist IoT.nxt.

Vodacom didn’t disclose the value of the deal, but only said that the deal is subject to approval by South Africa’s Competition Commission. Read more here

Rebosis Property Fund

South Africa’s real estate company, Rebosis Property Fund, plans to sell three shopping malls for R1.8 billion to Vukile Property Fund.

Rebosis said the proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce its high levels of debt.

The three shopping malls that will be sold to Vukile Property Fund are Mdantsane City Shopping Centre in Eastern Cape, and Pretoria-based Sunnypark Shopping Centre and Bloedstreet Mall. The sale is expected to become effective at the end of August 2019. Read more here

Outotec

Outotec, a Finnish listed company providing leading process technologies and services for metals and mining, industrial water treatment, alternative energy, and chemical industries, has sold its fabrication and manufacturing businesses in South Africa and Mozambique to SPS Holdings Company.

The transaction will become effective as of June 1, 2019. The parties have agreed not to disclose the acquisition price.

The South African facility in Brits serves primarily ferrochrome plants and the Mozambique facility provides services and spare parts for the aluminum industry.

“Together with SPS Holdings our joint aim is to use our local experience to build and grow a service-oriented business to help customers to get the best return for their investments," explains Tomas Hakala, head of Outotec's service business.

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, signed a Ksh3.5 billion ($35 million) funding agreement with Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), a private institution that encourages local tea production.

Signed on May 14, 2019, the loan whose yearly interest rate is 3.6 percent will help close to 65,000 tea producers as well as owners of processing plants under KTDA’s wing acquire 95,000 tons of inputs. They will thus improve production and increase yields.