Tag: buyout

Will China Mobile buy a struggling Cell C?

According to a recent report by ITWeb, struggling telco Cell C is in possible buy-out talks with China Mobile.

It is rumoured negotiations are underway, and the company told ITWeb that it “is willing to talk to anyone wanting to stabilise the company”.

China Mobile has been pursuing expansion in Africa for some time. A year ago, the world’s largest carrier opened its South African office in Johannesburg.

However, Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson reported told ITWeb that Cell C is not considering a merger.

Summary of the situation

  • Last month Cell C reported a loss of R8-billion
  • Top bosses have reiterated that the company is open to any potential buyers
  • Blue Label Telecoms, who owns 45% of the telco, says they do not know whether their shareholding will be maintained or reduced
  • Other Cell C shareholders include 3C Telecommunications with 30%; Net1, which owns 15%; while 10% is held by Cell C management and staff
  • Reasons for Cell C’s debt include freezing jobs, declining revenue, debt management challenges and three downgrades by rating agency Standard & Poor


Paper, packaging and graphic solutions provider Antalis South Africa has announced that the company will become South Africa’s leading black empowered company in its industry, on completion of a 100% local buyout of shares currently owned by Antalis International.

Antalis South Africa has a net asset value exceeding R200-million and an annual turnover of over R1-billion. In the process of divesting from South Africa, Antalis International sold all its shares to two existing Antalis South Africa directors. The company will continue to trade as Antalis South Africa.

Following the buyout, the entity becomes an entirely South African owned company that is 51% black- and 30% black female-owned. Antalis South Africa’s B-BBEE maximum procurement recognition level will enable the company to partner with government, state-owned entities and other organisations that prioritise South Africa’s transformation agenda.

The new shareholder team comprises Antalis South Africa’s existing financial director Neelesh Kalidas, who will serve as joint managing director. Together with his business partner they will own a combined 51% of Antalis South Africa, with a 30% black female shareholding.

Raymond Waldeck, currently managing director of Antalis South Africa, will hold the remaining 49% of the company, and will also assume the role of joint managing director.

Each managing director will concentrate on business functions specific to their core strengths for operational efficiencies and market optimisation.

“Kalidas and Waldeck realised that the buyout opportunity presented by Antalis International would result in the formation of a truly empowered South African entity. Together with our 320-strong team, we will continue to serve existing and new customers with excellent service, innovative product ranges and industry expertise that Antalis customers have come to expect – elements that are critical to the ongoing success of the business,” says Romano Daniels, spokesperson for Antalis South Africa.

“Antalis South Africa will continue to be a reputable contributor to the local paper, packaging and graphic solutions market, just as it has been for over 120 years. We are proud to lead meaningful transformation of the industry that is long overdue, with this transaction.”

With an eye firmly on how digitisation and shifts in the commodity markets are changing the pulp, paper, and packaging trade worldwide, Daniels confirms that Antalis South Africa aims to continue increasing its focus on market opportunities in packaging, graphic equipment, visual communications, inclusive of signage and display as well as logistics services.

“As the global demand for commodity paper changes, established businesses like Antalis South Africa, who has the widest offering in the market, are taking advantage of technological advances that create opportunities for new services, innovative product developments and overall industry growth,” he says.

He notes that the increasing impact of environmental consciousness is bringing about new developments in paper packaging as an example of how changing consumer outlook and demand has benefited, rather than threatened, the paper and graphics solutions sector. Furthermore, Antalis South Africa will continue strengthening its ties with key global suppliers to ensure the organisation is always at the forefront of new product introduction to the market.

Daniels says that in the meantime, staff, clients and suppliers will find that business continues as usual because business stability is of critical importance to customers and staff alike.

“This is an exciting new chapter in the Antalis South Africa life cycle, and as an influential, sustainable and transformed South African company, we look forward to being at the forefront of the continually-evolving local paper, packaging and graphic solutions industry,” he says.

Printer and ink maker Lexmark International is being acquired and taken private.

The company said that a group of investors plans to acquire its business in an all-cash deal worth roughly $3,6-billion. China-based computer hardware company Apex Technology and investment management firm PAG Asia Capital are leading the deal with participation from Legend Capital Management.

After the acquisition closes, which is expected in second half of 2016, Lexmark will part join the ranks of several other former public companies that recently went private including data analytics firm Informatica and cloud software company Cvent.

The acquisition is subject to approval by US regulatory agencies including the Committee on Foreign Investment, which reviews foreign investment deals for possible national security risks. China and “certain other foreign jurisdictions” must approve the deal as well, the company said in an announcement.

The company’s shareholders will get $40.50 for each share they hold, Lexmark says. This represents a 16,8% premium with Lexmark’s shares at $34.66 at the close of the markets.

In October, Lexmark said it was exploring “strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.” The announcement came after Reuters reported earlier in April 2016 that Apex, which also makes ink cartridges, was interested in buying Lexmark.

The report said that Lexmark’s business had weakened amid a general decline in the personal computer and printing industry. In 2010, Fortune profiled Lexmark and asked whether the company was “the printing world’s most eligible bachelor,” or, in other words, likely to hitch up with a bigger suitor.

In recent years, Lexmark has made a big push into business software and digital document management services.

By Jonathan Vanian for www.fortune.com

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