Company news in brief

02 December 2019 | Sakenuus
Investec expects millions from spin-off

Anglo-South African financial services group Investec expects to raise about 189 million pounds (US$242 million) from the sale of around 10% of its asset management business, which will be renamed Ninety One when it is spun off in March.

Investec, which manages more than 119 billion pounds in assets, announced plans for the split last year and said the asset manager would be better able to focus on creating long term value away from Investec's banking and wealth operations.

The demerger follows similar moves by Prudential, Old Mutual and Deutsche Bank as fees fall and costs rise in the fund management sector.

Investec shareholders will receive one Ninety One share for every two Investec shares, both for its Johannesburg and London-listed stock.

In a circular to shareholders on Friday, Investec said the expected proceeds are based on its valuation of the Ninety One businesses at 1.89 billion pounds as of October 25 this year.

The actual proceeds of the Ninety One share sale will only be determined at the time of the split, which is scheduled for March 13 and requires shareholder approval. The business will have a dual-listing in London and Johannesburg. – Nampa/Reuters

Telkom says Cell C has rejected takeover offer

South African telecoms company Telkom SA said on Friday its takeover bid for Cell C had been rejected, a move that comes after its larger but troubled rival expanded a roaming agreement with African giant MTN Group.

Seeking to become a mobile-focused business, Telkom has tried to buy Cell C in the past. This month South Africa's No. 4 carrier made another approach as Cell C's debt woes raised questions over how it would survive.

Cell C, the nation's No. 3 carrier and majority owned by Blue Label Telecoms, confirmed it had declined the offer.

Telkom has been grappling with its own debt problems after hefty investments to gear its operation towards newer technologies like mobile and fibre.

The mobile unit is now the star performer of its business, whereas customer numbers in previously big profit drivers like fixed line are falling. The mobile unit grew revenues by almost 57% in the six months to Sept. 30. – Nampa/Reuters

Africa-focused lender Bayport explores listing

Bayport Management, an African consumer lending company, is considering a London listing in the first half of 2020 that could value it at around US$800 million, three sources familiar with matter said.

Bayport, which provides loans primarily to government employees, has hired Citi, JP Morgan and Standard Bank as joint global coordinators for the deal, two of the sources said.

The company, founded in 2002 by co-chief executives Stuart Stone and Grant Kurland, is also active in insurance. It has a technical listing on the Mauritius Stock Exchange, but its shares aren't traded.

Bayport calls itself an "at-source lender," which it says means its business is less risky because loan repayments are typically deducted from the borrower's salary. It operates in seven countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania and Mozambique, and also has presences in Mexico and Colombia.

Bayport is one of two Africa-focused financial services firms believed to be targeting a London IPO in the first half of 2020.

Nigerian payments platform Interswitch is also expected to look for a London listing next year, after Visa Inc bought a stake in the firm earlier this year that gave it a valuation of US$1 billion. – Nampa/Reuters

Aramco IPO oversubscribed so far

Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) was on course to be oversubscribed but not by a huge margin, according to figures released so far by the lead manager before a Dec. 4 close for institutional investors to submit offers.

Bids received by Friday from institutional and retail investors totalled US$44.3 billion, lead manager Samba Capital said, about 1.7 times the value Saudi Arabia aims to raise from selling a 1.5% stake in the state-owned oil giant.

Although the IPO has received more than enough bids, the level of interest is relatively muted compared to other emerging market IPOs and subdued even when compared to the listing of a top Saudi bank in 2014 that was oversubscribed many times over.

If Riyadh hits its target of raising 96 billion riyals (US$25.6 billion) or more it would still be a world record IPO, valuing the company at about US$1.7 trillion.

But this is lower than the US$2 trillion valuation originally touted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has put the sale at the heart of his programme to raise cash for ambitious plans to diversify the kingdom's oil-reliant economy. – Nampa/Reuters

‘Govt should nationalise Kenya Air quickly’

The government must move quickly to nationalise Kenya Airways as regional competitors seeking to carve out market share pour cash into their national carriers, the airline's chief executive said.

Lawmakers voted in July to re-nationalise the loss-making airline, which is 48.9% state-owned, 7.8% held by Air France-KLM, and 38% owned by local lenders, hoping to emulate the success of state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Sub-Saharan Africa's biggest airline.

Kenya Airways was privatised more than 20 years ago but sank into debt and losses in 2014 after a failed expansion drive and a slump in travellers after a major terror attack.

In August, it saw its first-half pretax loss more than double from a year earlier to 8.56 billion Kenyan shillings (US$83 million).

Chief executive Sebastian Mikosz said the government will likely appoint a nationalisation advisor by the end of the year and the process should be completed next year. – Nampa/Reuters



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