South Africa’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) industry took time off this week to celebrate the achievements of 2014 at the 14th DealMakers Annual Awards.
The main awards of the evening included the announcement of Woolworths’ acquisition of Australian retailer David Jones as Deal of the Year. CEO Ian Moir accepted the award thanking Standard Bank, Rothschild and Webber Wentzel for their advice and persistence on this – one of the largest outward bound acquisitions by a SA corporate.
Private Equity Global pan-emerging market private equity firm, Actis, walked away with the coveted Catalyst Private Equity Deal of the Year award for its purchase of a majority (60%) stake in CSH, the holding company for Compuscan.
Individual DealMaker of the Year went to Cobus Human of One Capital for his work on, amongst others, Northam Platinum’s BEE transaction.
Investec Bank took home the honours for top M&A Financial Adviser by value and number of deals (flow). Investec worked on 56 deals with a value of R102 billion. Investec Bank also clinched these awards in the Sponsor category. Corporate law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr took the top spot for value and flow for work done valued at R156 billion from 108 deals.
Reporting Accountants PwC also took top honours in both categories. A total of 60 awards were presented.
The value of M&A deals for 2014 totalled R497 billion, of which R154 billion was transacted by foreign domiciled companies executing just five transactions.
The biggest deal of 2014 was entirely local in origin; the R62.8 billion acquisition of Pepkor by Steinhoff International. Woolworths’ R21.4 billion takeover of Australian retailer David Jones was next in size for a local corporate. Also up there with the mega-deals was the merger of the bottling interests of SABMiller, The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Sabco to create Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
The total value of transactions categorised as General Corporate Finance work during 2014 was R520 billion. If the R138 billion unbundling by BHP Billiton to shareholders of noncore assets housed in South32 is removed, the main contributor to activity in this category was the threefold increase in capital raising to the tune of R206 billion; the rights issues by Woolworths, Steinhoff International and Intu Properties alone accounted for R29 billion.
DealMakers records every M&A deal and corporate finance transaction entered into by a South African listed company. Details include the date, asset, value and various tombstone parties supplying transactional services. The winners are ranked by total value and total number of transactions advised on during the year.
The event was held at the Sandton Convention Centre and was attended by 460 of the industry’s top players. It was sponsored by Cell C, Sibanye Gold, JUTA, Sage, Ansarada and INCE.