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Sanlam Private Equity Successfully Exits Three Investments

Sanlam Private Equity (SPE) has successfully negotiated the sale of three private equity investments in the past 12 months, with expected sale proceeds totalling around R1.9 billion. SPE’s exits from Consol, Weldamax and Metrofibre Networx come after the creation or preservation of a significant number of jobs over the investment period.

John Seymour, Head of SPE, says the three exits are a strong indication that private equity activity is picking up again. “Now that we are emerging from the pandemic, we are seeing a resurgence in investment activity in private markets. Sanlam Private Equity is committed to protecting and growing jobs and we consider these three deals to have made a very positive contribution in this regard.”

Details of the three successful investment exits:

Consol

Alongside other shareholders, SPE has agreed to the sale of Consol, Africa’s leading producer of glass packaging to Ardagh Group, a global supplier of glass and metal packaging based in Ireland. Ardagh intends to acquire 100% of Consol for an equity value of R10.1 billion. The sale is subject to final regulatory approval.

SPE invested in Consol in 2007 and supported significant capacity expansion in South Africa, as well as expansion of the business into other territories in Africa. Consol’s headcount has increased by 74% since 2007.

Weldamax

The second sale agreement is for the disposal of Weldamax, which is a distributor of welding and gas products in South Africa, to Air Products, a leading supplier of industrial and specialty gas products in South Africa. SPE supported the business through a strong turnaround.

Metrofibre Networx (MFN)

The third exit is for the disposal of MFN, a leading provider of fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business products and services in South Africa, to French infrastructure manager, STOA, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and Levoca.

SPE first invested in MFN in 2013, during the early stages of MFN’s formation, and supported the business through its growth and expansion phases which saw permanent employee numbers increase 13-fold.

SPE’s recently announced new investments have included Cavalier Group and Absolute Pets, with an additional investment announcement expected in the coming weeks.

About Sanlam Private Equity

SPE forms part of Sanlam Investments, the Sanlam Group’s asset management business, with assets under management currently exceeding R540 billion. SPE has been active in private equity investing since 1998 and currently manages a portfolio of R4.5 billion on behalf of the Sanlam Group and third-party investors.

SPE has recently launched a new third-party private equity fund, SPE Mid-Market Fund I. The Fund’s capital is anchored by Sanlam Life Insurance Limited and has a target capital commitment of R2.5 billion, and seeks to partner with entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses and to make private equity-related as well as BEE investments in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

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Julie Etheridge
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