Recognising the dealmakers of 2015

Meet the corporate finance executives on the shortlist.

The following four corporate finance executives are shortlisted for the DealMaker of the Year award to be presented at the DealMakers 15th Annual Awards next Tuesday. Candidates are nominated for their outstanding contribution to the industry during 2015 by their peers and by companies involved in the mergers and acquisition industry.

This is the eighth year in which such an award is to be made.

Christo Els (Webber Wentzel)

Els has been short-listed for this award no less than five times. He jointly won the title in 2011.

A specialist in cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets, securities regulation, corporate finance and commercial law, Els has worked on a number of complex and flagship transactions during the year. These include African aspects of the Anheuser-Busch InBev/SABMiller transaction, advising Al Noor Hospitals Group on the reverse takeover by Mediclinic International and Oceana on the acquisition of Daybrook Fisheries. On capital raising, Els was involved in advising Oceana on its R1.2 billion raising through a fully underwritten renounceable rights offer and advised Macquarie First South Capital as sole bookrunner on Capital Appreciation’s IPO.

Els joined Webber Wentzel in 1996 as a candidate attorney after graduating from the University of Pretoria. In 2002 he became a partner and in 2015 he took over the reins as senior partner.

John Gnodde (Brait)

Gnodde has been at the helm, driving Brait’s strategy, since the initial transformational move to become an ‘on-balance sheet’ investment holdings company.

Leading from the front, Gnodde took Brait on an M&A spree during 2015 acquiring, amongst others, a 78% stake in Virgin Active (£691 million), an 89% stake in New Look (£780 million), and a 38% stake in Iceland Foods (£172 million). Gnodde was appointed CEO in 2011, a position he still holds today. He joined Brait in 1995 and has been responsible for the group’s private equity funds. Prior to his move to Brait, Gnodde worked for Goldman Sachs International in London. He went to UCT where he completed a degree in commerce.

Paul Roelofse (Rand Merchant Bank)

Roelofse was the recipient of this award in 2008 when it was first awarded. He successfully advised on a number of high profile transactions during 2015. These include Mediclinic International’s reverse take-over of Al Noor Hospitals (£1.5 billion), Remgro’s acquisition of Spire Healthcare (£413.7 million) and Brait’s acquisitions of an 80% stake in Virgin Active and 90% stake in New Look Retail Group. In the capital markets Roelofse was involved in the R5 billion rights issue by Discovery and the R10 billion Mediclinic rights issue.

Roelofse, a CA who has never practised as such, read a B.Acc (hons) degree at Stellenbosch and then went on to complete his articles with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He immediately joined RMB where he was joint head of corporate finance for several years.

Fradreck Shoko (Standard Bank)

Shoko has spearheaded the team in a number of significant deals during 2015, most notably the Anheuser-Busch InBev acquisition of SABMiller on which he is managing complicated aspects such as BEE issues, stakeholder interaction and engagement, SARB and JSE requirements and the different jurisdictions hurdles on the continent. He advised on Shanduka’s restructure and merger with Pembani and has been credited by his peers as being instrumental in getting the ‘deal across the line’.

Shoko joined Standard Bank in 2009. A chartered accountant, he completed his articles with Coopers & Lybrand before joining Credit Suisse First Boston. He has also worked at JPMorgan and Nedbank.

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