M&A Roundup: Absa sells Edcon store card stake and Prosus to invest in India

Also: IHS Holdings, Investec Australia Property Fund, MAS Real Estate and Fairvest make headlines.

Absa Bank has sold its stake in the Edcon store card portfolio to microlender RCS Group, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas Personal Finance.

No amount was mentioned in a statement released on Monday, but RCS said it also struck a deal with Edcon to sell its customers credit cards, store cards and personal loans. Edgars, Jet and CNA are part of the Edcon group.

Read more: Absa sells Edgars store cards to RCS

IHS Holdings is reviving plans for an initial public offering (IPO) that could take place in 2020. 

The company’s advisers are resuming preparations for an IPO and are considering seeking a valuation of about $8 billion, according to sources that informed Bloomberg. The company is weighing New York or London as listing venues, the people said. IHS scrapped plans for a US share sale in 2018 due to uncertainty around a presidential vote in Nigeria, its main market. 

Read more: Tower firm IHS Holdings to revive listing plan 

Investec Australia Property Fund, which recently listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), said on Wednesday the financial boost from that listing meant it was now well-positioned to make further acquisitions.

“Our portfolio is in good shape on the ground, we have 99.9 percent occupancy,” said Investec Australia Property Fund CEO Graeme Katz (pictured). “Our low gearing gives us further opportunity to add value to our portfolio.”

Read more: Investec Australia property fund eyes more acquisitions

Ascendis Health said it is urgently pursuing the sale of additional business units after suffering write-downs that are more than twice its market capitalisation of R1.8 billion.

The company swung into a normalised loss after tax of R459 million in its year to end-June, with the debt-laden company saying it may need to borrow further to retain its going-concern status. At the end of the period, the company’s current liabilities of R8.6 billion exceeded its current assets of R8.2 billion. 

Read more: Ascendis Health may sell more assets 

Prosus's venture investing arm and its payments and fintech business PayU have announced two investments in India, increasing the company’s portfolio in what it referred to as a "high-potential market". 

Prosus Ventures ploughed $40 million (R599 million) into ElasticRun, a virtual logistic entity which delivers consumer products, and PayU injected $11 million (R164 million) into consumer wealthtech company Fisdom, it was announced on Wednesday. 

Read more: Prosus units eyes Indian business ventures

MAS Real Estate said on Monday that some shareholders have already said they will support a proposed takeover of its joint venture with Prime Kapital (PK).

MAS is seeking to bolster its operations in Eastern and Central Europe, with the company  recently announcing that it has acquired PK’s management platform.  MAS said on Monday that property group Attacq, which holds 22.84 percent of its shares, and Argosy, which holds 8.52 percent, have confirmed their support for the transaction.

Read more: MAS Real Estate gets shareholder support for Prime Kapital deal

Fairvest Property Holdings has become the latest company to agree for its shares to be traded on A2X Exchange in South Africa. Fairvest has been approved for a secondary listing on A2X and is set to list on October 31. 

The real estate company, with a market capitalisation of R2 billion, is predominately focused on the retail sector, weighted toward non-metropolitan shopping centres servicing the lower income nodes.

Read more: Fairvest to list shares on South Africa’s A2X