Top deals making headlines this week

In focus this week: Naspers, Public Investment Corporation, Netstar, and more.

It has been another jam-packed week for mergers and acquisitions. Here’s what caught our attention:


Luxury brands group, Richemont, announced on Friday that it is forming a joint venture (JV) with Chinese online retailer Alibaba – four months after acquiring full control of luxury retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP). 

The JV will see Richemont and Alibaba launch two mobile apps for two of YNAP’s brands, Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter, for consumers in China. Alibaba will provide technology infrastructure, marketing, payments, logistics, and other technology support to the JV. 

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Netstar, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Altron, said on Monday that it has signed a joint venture (JV) deal with C Ahead Technologies to offer insurance and fleet telematics in India.

C Ahead is an IT services and solutions company with 14 years’ experience, and has its headquarters in the United States and offices in India, South Africa, Dubai, and the United Kingdom.

“With C Ahead we have found an ideal partner for us to introduce Netstar’s Intellectual Property (IP) into the Asian continent. This JV is in line with our measured global expansion plans for Netstar and will diversify offshore earnings," said Altron Chief Executive Mteto Nyati.

Read more here.

Public Investment Corporation

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has concluded the acquistion of a majority shareholding in Karan Beef, a supplier of beef products, for a consideration of up to R5.2 billion.  

The PIC, which manages investments worth R2 trillion on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund and other government funds, concluded the acquisition of Karan Beef together with Pelo Agricultural Ventures. The size of the PIC's shareholding in Karan Beef was not disclosed. 

Read more here.

Famous Brands

Famous Brands has launched an insolvency process for its UK-based struggling burger business, Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), the company announced on Wednesday. 

Famous Brands, which expanded in the UK by buying GBK for R2.1 billion in 2016, has appointed accountancy firm Grant Thornton to initiate a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

A CVA process is an insolvency procedure that is used by struggling firms to rescue their operations by cutting costs through the closure of outlets and cut rents.  In other words, it’s a process to protect a company from the worst-case scenario of bankruptcy. 

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Private tertiary education specialist Stadio Holdings has acquired Prestige Academy Proprietary for an undisclosed sum, the company announced on Wednesday. Stadio, which is listed on the JSE, said it will acquire 100 percent of the issued share capital of Prestige Academy. 

Prestige Academy is a registered private higher education provider with 27 registered qualifications offered at its campus in Bellville, Cape Town, and four registered qualifications offered at its campus in Centurion, Pretoria. 

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Africa’s largest company by market value, Naspers, is set to increase its shareholding in Indian online food-delivery business Swiggy, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Naspers, according to Bloomberg, has indicated that it intends to support a financing that could raise more than $600 million (R8.5 billion), Swiggy’s biggest to date.  There’s also an opportunity to buy stakes from investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Tencent, the Chinese internet giant in which Naspers owns a 31 percent stake, is also planning to invest in the fundraising.

Read more here.