GHANA INVEST: South African investment firm announces $372 million acquisition

Kagiso Tiso Holdings' Group CEO says the new deal will see their company enlarge its footprint in Africa, a continent ripe for growth

INVESTMENT firm Kagiso Tiso Holdings, based in Johannesburg, announced a major pan-African investment Thursday as the company acquired 51% of British-based Servest Group in $372 million (a R4.5 billion) transaction.

Kagiso Tiso Holdings’ Group Chief Executive Officer, Vuyisa Nkonyeni, said the new deal would see their company move into becoming a pan African company, enlarging its footprint in the continent.

The company has financed expansions of such established companies as Fidelity Bank, which it financed with $30 million (about R360 million), in a transaction that propelled the bank’s entry into the Ghana financial services sector.

“I’m really excited by this partnership because Servest Group management have demonstrated value in their company, and they have a track record to deliver in the service sector.

“We are a leading pan-African brand, and they are also a brand in their sector making our partnership good investment for Africa,” said Nkonyeni.

Nkonyeni said going forward, Kagiso Tiso Holdings was keen to focus its investment in West and East Africa.

“In West Africa, we target to do business in Ghana and Nigeria while in East Africa we are targeting Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania,” Nkonyeni said.

Speaking at the same event, Servest Group Chairman, Kenton Fine, said the merger with Kagiso came at a time Africa was becoming an investment opportunity for the world.

The transaction makes Servest the largest group, majority black-owned, facilities management company in Africa, strongly positioning it to expand its footprint across the entire continent.

“We have enjoyed a very successful and long standing relationship with our existing shareholders, RMB Corvest and Shalamuka, and are delighted at the prospect of partnering with a professional organisation of the calibre of Kagiso Tiso Holdings.

“With similar values entrenched in both organisations, we look forward to embracing the additional experience and knowledge that KTH will bring, further underpinning our continued ambitious growth strategy into the future,” said Mr. Fine.

Echoing the same sentiments was Servest Group Chief Executive officer, Kevin Derrick, who said the new partnership was set to conquer Africa.

“This deal means that Servest is now 51% black owned, but it represents so much more than just an empowerment transaction.

“This is not only clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to transformation and long term sustainability, but brings with it significant opportunities for future growth, expansion and job creation.

“Our Group (Servest Group) and Kagiso Tiso Holdings have common philosophy, style of business, and strategic vision for growth,” said  Derrick.

“As we grow into Africa, we select our client very carefully in order to minimise the risks. We definitely see Africa as potential investment opportunities for the new group,” said Mr. Fine.

Kagiso Tiso Holdings also boasts numerous investments in South Africa and the rest of Southern African Development Community (SADC) region where they offer services such as cleaning, parking, catering, hygiene, landscaping.

 On the other hand Servest Group, founded in 1997, boasts leading facilities management services, to over 6500 clients across more than 24 000 sites throughout Africa and the United Kingdom.

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