26 Nov Archive: Absa ready to fund BEE deals
Banking group Absa says it is well prepared to add impetus to the empowerment drive—one of South Africa’s delicate initiatives central to the successful transformation of our society and its economy.
Through its recently established Black Empowerment Financing Unit—part of Absa’s investment banking arm, Absa Corporate and Merchant Bank (ACMB)—the Absa group has amassed the appropriate intellectual capital and skills base and is ready to take the country’s black economic empowerment (BEE) process to greater heights.
George Sebulela, head of ACMB’s Black Empowerment Financing Unit, says its approach takes into consideration the challenges facing budding BEE players and entrepreneurs.
Says Sebulela: “We are not oblivious to the conditions and hurdles that are faced by new entrants in the BEE deal-making arena. Our innovative solutions are homegrown, versatile and designed with the view to promoting sustainable broad-based BEE that will fundamentally transform the ownership patterns of the South African economy as espoused in the Financial Services Charter, of which we are signatories.”
He adds that the unit provides funding solutions for complex BEE transactions through its specialised services. “While our intention is to make profits from the deals we structure, we, however, constantly endeavour to devise appropriate funding solutions for specific industries, classes of assets and relevant levels of empowerment transactions.
“We also take into consideration the transfer of full economic interest to the BEE partner in support of the broad-based Codes of Good Practice.”
Recent ACMB empowerment transactions include the R1,7-billion funding for the acquisition of a minority stake in Telkom by the broad-based Elephant Consortium and the introduction of empowerment shareholders in the R235-million African Life Assurance deal.
The bank was also involved in the acquisition of a 20% stake in Vunani Capital Holdings, a black-owned financial-services company. The deal included a cooperation agreement between ACMB and Vunani.—I-Net Bridge