Thursday, February 17, 2011

We Have Arrived! (The English translation of "Safika")

Melbourne-based investment and advisory firm the Wingate Group and Safika Holdings, one of South Africa's largest investment holding companies, have formed a joint venture called Winsaf.

The joint venture, which will be Melbourne-based, aims to undertake principal investments in Australia and Asia, and help Australian companies invest in Africa.

To further strengthen the relationship, Safika has also taken a strategic holding in Wingate.

Safika has substantial investments in a number of well known South African corporations including Standard Bank, Liberty Life and Ntsimbintle Mining (a partnership with BHP & Anglo American). In 2004 Standard Bank, Africa’s largest banking institution, became a substantial shareholder in Safika. Safika’s Chairman, Saki Macozoma is Deputy Chairman of Standard Bank.

Meanwhile, Safika director and head of investment Marc Ber has been appointed Winsaf chief executive and will continue to perform all his responsibilities by dividing his time between Johannesburg and Melbourne.

Wingate head of private equity Steve Lipchin and the group's capital solutions managing director, Richard Blumberg, will work with Ber to develop the Winsaf business.

The two businesses will operate in close conjunction, jointly investing in opportunities that meet their investment criteria.

"The joint venture brings together the knowledge, experience and abilities of two highly regarded, experienced and successful investment businesses that will primarily focus on opportunities in Australia but will also take advantage of growth and developments in Asia," Wingate managing director Farrel Meltzer said.

"Winsaf will initially focus on the financial services, transport and logistics, industrial, mining and resources sectors, areas which are poised for strong growth in Australia and the emerging Asian markets.

"It will also bring new opportunities for Wingate clients to co-invest in companies that Winsaf identifies as having substantial upside.

"In addition, Winsaf will open up opportunities in the African continent, which is experiencing high growth, for Australian investors and, through the very useful connections of Safika, provide assistance to Australian businesses that are seeking to expand into Africa."

As part of the arrangement, Safika chief executive Moss Ngoasheng would also join Wingate's board of directors, the group said.