M&A Roundup: Net1 UEPS to grow SA operations and PepsiCo to take over Pioneer Foods

Also: Telkom calls for Vodacom-Liquid Telecom merger investigation and Intu Properties investor pulls out.

South Africa’s competition authorities have cleared the acquisition of a majority interest in Matlosana Medical Health Service in the North West province by private hospital group Mediclinic after the bid was initially blocked by the Competition Tribunal, which feared that the move would raise costs for patients.

Read more: Mediclinic cleared to take over Matlosana Hospitals 

Net1 UEPS is planning to use part of its R3.4 billion proceeds from the sale of its South Korean payment processor, KSNET, to grow its operations in South Africa. 

Net1 offers debit, credit and prepaid processing and issuing services for major payment networks.

“The sale of KSNET marks an important milestone in the reinvention of Net1 as a fintech company focused on the underbanked, as it allows us to inject the appropriate liquidity in our businesses to scale our operations in SA, Africa and Europe, while also being able to return significant capital to our shareholders,” said CEO Herman Kotzé (pictured). 

Read more: Net1 wants to build scale in its South Africa operations

South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal give the green light to a R24 billion transaction that will see PepsiCo take over Pioneer Foods, which was initially announced in July 2019.

Read more: Competition Commission gives the nod to sale of Pioneer Foods to PepsiCo 

Intu Properties was dealt another blow on Tuesday after a Hong Kong-based investor, Link Real Estate Investment Trust, pulled out of plans to take part in the shopping centre group’s emergency cash call – a day after it had confirmed talks.

Read more: Blow for Intu Properties: investor shuns R19 billion cash call 

Telkom has called on the Competition Commission and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to investigate the recently announced roaming deal between Vodacom and Liquid Telecom.

Read more: Telkom wants roaming deal between Vodacom-Liquid Telecom to be probed 

MTN Group said improved operational performance across the business coupled with the proceeds from asset sales delivered healthy profit growth in 2019.

Headline earnings per share increased by between 30 percent and 50 percent in 2019, even after a downward adjustment from a change in reporting standards.

Read more: Proceeds from asset sales delivered profit growth for MTN in 2019

Investec’s shareholders have voted in favour of the proposed separation and listing of its asset management business, Investec Asset Management, which was renamed Ninety One.

The split will see Investec break away into Investec Bank & Wealth and Investec Asset Management. Shareholder approval of the transaction was the last outstanding requirement as regulatory approval has already been granted. The expected first day of trading is March 16, with the unit expected to be listed in London and Johannesburg. 

Read more: Shareholders vote in favour of Investec asset management demerger