M&A Roundup: Deals galore this week as companies acquire and sell for big change

Helios building towers in SA, new minority shareholder Cell C for and De Beers consolidates assets.

De Beers Group announced on Monday an initiative to consolidate its mining assets in South Africa and Canada into one business called De Beers Group Managed Operations.

The new business will streamline operational management and identify synergies to create a sustainable business in the two countries. De Beers Group Managed Operations will focus on Venetia Mine, Gahcho Kué Mine and De Beers Marine under one leadership team.

Read more: De Beers merges South Africa and Canada mines into one business

Helios Towers plans to have more than 100 active towers in SA by the end of April. Helios Towers CEO Kash Pandya told Business Day that the group aimed to have close to 500 towers “up and running” in the country by the end of 2019.

The company plans to spend about $100 million on building network infrastructure in SA over the next three years.

Read more: Helios Towers plans to have 100 towers in SOuth Africa by April

Vunani Limited subsidiary Telos plans to acquire 67 percent of Metropolitan Life Swaziland for R55 million from Metropolitan International.

The remaining balance of 33 percent will continue to be held by Eswatini Development and Savings Bank, which originally invested in MetLife Swaziland in 2010.

Read more: South Africa’s Vunani to acquire 67 percent of Metropolitan Life Swaziland

Hoorah Digital acquired design firm Ritual Studio, a move that is set to boost the former’s creative design capabilities.

Read more: Hoorah Digital acquires ritual studio 

South Africa’s Blue Label Telecoms said that a consortium has agreed to become a minority shareholder in Cell C.

Blue Label, which owns 45 percent of Cell C, said the Buffet Consortium, backed by billionaire Jonathan Beare, would become a minority shareholder in the mobile operator, in an effort to change its fortunes.

“With Buffet support, the Cell C balance sheet will be bolstered and ensure Cell C’s sustainable growth for the future,” Blue Label said in a statement to shareholders.

Read more: Buffet consortium invests in Cell C 

Liberty Holdings is selling the technology platform that supports its short-term insurance business to Standard Bank, for R145 million.

The rationale for the disposal is in line with Liberty's refocus on South African retail long-term insurance and asset management operations and provides the company with the opportunity to reduce future capital requirements and de-risk its business.

Read more: Liberty sells short-term insurance technology platform to Standard Bank 

The South African franchise operator of toy retailer Hamleys, Ensolor, is in financial trouble and has been placed into business rescue. 

Sources told Moneyweb that Ensolor’s financial difficulties are linked to fraud, which has resulted in the closure of Hamleys stores.

Read more: More Hamleys store closures on the cards in South Africa 

Vivo Energy has concluded a transaction with Engen Holdings to restructure the acquisition of Engen International Holdings by adding operations in eight new countries and over 225 Engen-branded service stations to Vivo Enegry’s network. 

Read more: Vivo Energy completes transaction with Engen 

Wescoal plans to acquire a 50 percent stake in Arnot coal mine from Exxaro, in partnership with Innovators Resources

Wescola would be acquiring the assets, liabilities and employees of the Arnot coal mine. 

The acquisition is expected to quicken the re-start of mining at Arnot, following Section 11 ownership transfer approval from the Department of Mineral Resources.

Read more: Wescoal to acquire 50 percent interest in Arnot coal mine