Steinhoff’s Unitrans is said to be worth up to $280m

The companies still need to agree terms for the sale according to Steinhoff, and CFAO wouldn’t say what price it may pay.
Steinhoff first began buying shares in Unitrans in 2000 and increased its stake to just more than 60% until acquiring all of the outstanding stock for the equivalent of $233m in 2007. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Steinhoff International’s Unitrans Motor Group, which the embattled retailer is in talks to sell, may be valued at as much as $280 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The lower end of the valuation range may be about $204 million, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Steinhoff on Thursday said it plans to sell 75% of South Africa’s largest car dealership to the local unit of Toyota Tsusho Corp.’s CFAO as it exits businesses that don’t complement existing retail franchises.

Read: Steinhoff sells auto showrooms unit to France’s CFAO

The companies still need to agree terms for the sale, Steinhoff said in a statement. Steinhoff declined to comment on Unitrans Motor’s value, while CFAO wouldn’t say what price it may pay.

Steinhoff raised about $332 million earlier this week as it sold its remaining shares in South Africa’s KAP Industrial. That followed similar disposals of stock in Pepkor, Steinhoff’s African retail operations and investment-holdings company PSG. The South African company is also seeking to sell properties in Europe valued at about 400 million euros ($450 million), people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Steinhoff first began buying shares in Unitrans in 2000. It continued increasing its stake to just more than 60% until acquiring all of the outstanding stock for the equivalent of $233 million in 2007.

“We’ve been looking to enter South Africa for many years,” CFAO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Bielle said by phone. “It is a significant acquisition for the group. We would like to expand these types of services in Unitrans to our other operations in Africa.” Bielle said CFAO is financing the deal through a combination of debt and equity.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

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