Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Pioneer, EOH Holdings, Royal Bafokeng Platinum, Sasol and more. 

Pioneer Foods

Shareholders of South Africa-based Pioneer Foods have approved its takeover by soft drink and food multinational giant PepsiCo in a vote on Tuesday. 

PepsiCo – which owns food brands including Pepsi, Lays, Doritos and Gatorade – has been in the process of sealing a deal to buy Pioneer – which owns Sasko, White Star, Weet-Bix and Liqui-Fruit – for R24.4 billion.  According to the two companies the transaction is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2020. The deal will be subject to customary closing conditions, including approval from regulators in South Africa.

“Shareholders are advised that the PepsiCo Offer, as defined in the combined circular distributed to Pioneer Foods shareholders on 29 August 2019, is still subject to various conditions precedent,” the statement said. Read more here

Sasol 

Chemicals company Sasol said it has completed its review into cost overruns at its Lake Charles project in the US. The company has twice delayed its financial results for the year to end-June due to the probe, and now expects to release its results on Monday October 28.

The company, which warned of lower earnings in July as it wrote down the value of assets in North America and Africa by R18.1 billion, said previously that it had commissioned an independent review of the project to explain the cost overruns and project delays.

It said on Tuesday that it is considering the findings to determine an appropriate course of action, which will be announced in due course. Read more here

Pragma

Pragma, one of SA’s leading physical asset management engineering firms, acquired Netherlands-based consultancy, CMS Asset Management. CMS specialises in engineering advisory services related to maintenance and asset management.

Pragma CEO and founder Adriaan Scheeres said the acquisition is aligned to the international expansion strategy developed during 2018. 

“We believe we have a lot to offer and can expand our international footprint.  Due to the fact that we already have an office in the Netherlands, it was a natural step for us to acquire CMS to further expand our operations in the Benelux countries, as well as the rest of Europe. Europe is known for its first-class asset management capabilities, especially in the Netherlands, and we can now offer our expertise in these countries with an expanded network. “ Read more here

Royal Bafokeng Platinum

Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) has struck a R2.1 billion deal to deliver gold to mining financier Triple Flag, the proceeds of which will be used to settle the costs of its recent acquisition of Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM). 

RBPlat will deliver 70 percent of its gold production to Triple Flag until 261,000 ounces are delivered, and 42 percent thereafter. Triple Flag will pay 5 percent of the spot gold price per ounce. Gold is a by-product of platinum group metals (PGM) production at RBPlat’s mining operations and accounts for approximately 3 percent of the company’s revenue. Read more here.

Lebashe

EOH Holdings informed its shareholders in a statement on Friday that the company’s black empowerment partner, Lebashe Investment Group, will not subscribe for a further R250-million tranche in the company.

The amount was to be the final part of a R1-billion investment in the tech company, which is led by Stephen van Coller

EOH said Lebashe attributes its decision to law firm ENSafrica’s ongoing investigation into alleged corrupt dealings at EOH Mthombo, a subsidiary of EOH Holdings. “Lebashe took a conscious decision to allow EOH to establish a new independent board of directors without representation from Lebashe until after the conclusion of the ENSafrica investigation and the determination of the impact thereof,” the statement said. Read more here

Lighthouse Capital

Lighthouse Capital, which was previously part of the Resilient stable of companies, is in advanced talks to acquire a shopping centre in the Iberian region, according to a report by Business Day. It’s a move that will see it expand deeper into Western Europe.

Lighthouse, which already owns two centres in Portugal and one in Slovenia, did not reveal where the shopping centre it had made an offer for was situated, according to Business Day. Iberia includes Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar and a small section of France. Lighthouse would not disclose the value of the potential deal. 

Lighthouse said it would raise additional capital through a rights offer, which was subject to “certain regulatory and exchange approvals”. Read more here

Safari

Johannesburg-Stock Exchange listed shopping mall owner Safari Investments has turned down a takeover offer from unlisted property group Comprop. Safari owns malls in lower-income areas, as well as in Swakopmund, Namibia.  

Comprop, which is part of Futuregrowth Asset Management, made a R1.8 billion cash bid for Safari in July to counter a share swap offer by mall owner Fairvest. 

Safari’s board endorsed Fairvest’s offer, which it said was “friendly”. However, Fairvest has since withdrawn its bid. Safari said on Tuesday it had received irrevocable undertakings from a group of shareholders who said they would vote against Comprop’s offer. Read more here.