Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Sibanye-Stillwater, Naspers, MTN, Vodacom, Helios Investment and more.

Naspers

Africa's largest technology company by market value, Naspers, will list its new global consumer Internet group, NewCo, in July 2019.

In March 2019, Naspers announced its intention to list its international Internet assets on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange in the Netherlands, with a secondary inward listing on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Naspers previously announced that NewCo will comprise all of Naspers’ internet interests outside of South Africa including, among others, its companies and investments in the online classifieds, payments, food delivery, travel, education and social and internet platforms sectors.

These internet interests includeTencent, mail.ru, OLX, Avito, letgo, PayU, iFood, Swiggy, DeliveryHero, Udemy, eMAG and MakeMyTrip. According to Naspers, NewCo would likely to be the largest listed consumer internet group in Europe by asset value.  Naspers expects to own no less than 73 percent of NewCo and the free float is expected to be up to 27 percent, created by Naspers through a capitalisation issue of NewCo shares to Naspers shareholders.

Sibanye-Stillwater

Sibanye-Stillwater and Lonmin shareholders voted resoundingly in favour of a merger between the two mining companies, which will create a platinum giant. 

On Tuesday, a total of 99.65 percent of shareholders who voted – representing 87 percent of total issued shares – supported a resolution that sees Sibanye-Stillwater increase its previous buyout offer for Lonmin. This resolution relates to Sibanye-Stillwater’s decision to offer one share for each Lonmin share compared to its previous offer of 0.967 shares. This represents an increase of 3.4 percent.

On the same day, a total of 98.87 percent of Lonmin shareholders in London, where the company is headquartered, voted in favor of the merger, passing the 75 percent threshold required for the deal. Read more here

Helios Investment 

Helios Investment Partners, the Africa-focused private equity firm, plans to raise a fund of about $1.25 billion to invest across the continent, according to a report by Bloomberg.

People with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg the London-based company is in talks with asset managers and development agencies about what would be its largest private equity fund for African investments. It’s unclear which country or countries that Helios, which manages about $3.6 billion, is targeting. Read more here

MTN

South Africa-headquartered MTN said on Tuesday that it will raise R1.2 billion through the sale of its interests in investment fund Amadeus to private equity firm HarbourVest.

MTN’s sale of Amadeus will also include the sale of its shareholding in online travel booking website TravelStart. The sale of Amadeus and TravelStart are part of MTN’s plan to realise R15 billion worth of capital over the next three years, simplify its portfolio and reduce risk. Read more here.

Vodacom

Vodacom and Safaricom have formed a joint venture to acquire from Vodafone the intellectual property rights to M-Pesa mobile financial services platform for $13.4 million.

The joint venture will allow both Vodacom and Safaricom to make significant savings in royalties paid to Vodafone and expand the service to new African markets. Safaricom, the most profitable company in East Africa, pays two percent of its annual M-Pesa revenue to Vodafone. Meanwhile Vodacom, which owns 35 percent of Safaricom, pays five percent in an intellectual property fee to Vodafone from its M-Pesa business, which is mainly in Tanzania. 

Seacom 

Pan African internet and connectivity service provider Seacom says it will add eight new Points of Presence (PoPs) across Africa to enable more African businesses to connect to cloud facilities worldwide, as well as to the continent’s first Microsoft Azure data centres in South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The group has extended its presence in its brand-new icolo data centre in Mombasa, Kenya. This centre acts as an on-ramp to Seacom’s network, providing better support to service provider and enterprise customers in the country.

The Mombasa PoP is also significant as it connects Kenya’s first truly open-access data centre onto the Seacom open-access data network, the company said. It said that it has similar plans for new open-access PoPs that are coming in Nairobi and Kampala. Read more here

Crossfin

South Africa’s fintech investment company, Crossfin Technology, and private equity fund, Apis Growth Fund I, have acquired card payment solutions firm Sureswipe for an undisclosed amount.

Along with the acquisition of Sureswipe, Crossfin Technology and Apis Growth Fund have agreed to form Crossfin Transactional Solutions (CTS), a payments and merchant acquiring solutions platform.

The new platform brings together three local payment service providers: Innervation Pan African Payments, Emerge Mobile under the brand iKhokha and Sureswipe. The new shareholders of CTS are Crossfin Technology Holdings, Apis Growth Fund I and members of the management teams. Read more here

Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa, the continent's second-largest mobile operator and subsidiary of Indian company Bharti Airtel, has sought approval for an initial public offering (IPO) and listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

The company is also said to be considering a listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Airtel operates in 14 African markets including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda and Zambia. The IPOs in London and Nigeria are part of Airtel Africa’s efforts to expand its data and mobile money services across Africa. Read more here