Herman Mashaba exits Aerosud as Paramount enters

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Phatsima Aviation has sold its 20% share in Centurion-based aviation specialist Aerosud to an undisclosed party – believed to be the Paramount Group- for an undisclosed amount.

Company chairman Herman Mashaba, founder of the very successful Black like Me cosmetics group, yesterday said Phatsima sold its share in June 2009 “to a third party to focus on other investments”.

It is not clear what these are as he added that although Phatsima remains a registered company it “currently has no assets or business activities.”

Mashaba also did not explain why Phatsima sold its stake. He could not be reached this morning for comment.

The respected entrepreneur says he formed Phatsima in 2005 as a special purpose company to acquire a 20% shareholding in Aerosud from the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation, which was warehousing the share for a black empowerment investor.

The deal was concluded in August of that year.

Phatsima shareholders included Mashaba (54%) Home Affairs department spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa (8%), then-presidential adviser Titus Mafolo (3%) and former Denel CE and Sasol group general manager Max Sisulu (3%). Sisulu is now Speaker of Parliament.

Other shareholders were Noel Machingawuta, Shane Ferguson, Jackie Mafumadi, Jerry Majatladi, Kholekile Biyana, and MN Nkomo. A share was also allocated to an education trust dedicated to training black engineers.

Mashaba joined the board as a non-executive Business Development director.

The deal took Aerosud’s black empowerment ownership to 28%. Former SA ambassador to the Netherlands Hlengiwe Mkhize had acquired an 8% stake in Aerosud previously. Mkhize served as Group Director, Public Policy Transformation & Human Resources until May when President Jacob Zuma appointed her Deputy Minister of Correctional Services.

The balance of the shareholding was in 2006 held by company founder members Dr Paul Potgieter (MD), Pierre Dippenaar, Yoram Tchetchik and Deon Labuschagne.

Mashaba says no dividends were declared or received during the four years Phatsima was invested in Aerosud.

“The investment yielded 13.5% towards the repayment of the acquisition debt. Ordinary shareholders did not receive any dividends.”

Potgieter said Aerosud “greatly valued and will miss the contribution of Phatsima Aviation.”

 

“It is important to stress that any shareholder is at liberty to sell his shares, and the transaction is ultimately between the buyer and the seller.

 

“We have very definite ideas for the future around BEE, and there are presently negotiations under way which could positively impact our BEE status – we will be developing these further in the coming months.”

Regarding Paramount, Potgieter said “there is indeed a deal under way, and we are planning to announce the details and objectives formally in the coming weeks.

 

“Paramount and Aerosud have been cooperating intimately for many years, amongst others in our Gabon contract and the co-ownership of the ex-SA Air Force Mirage F1 fleet which we continue to jointly market internationally,” a reference to the sale of six ex-SA Air Force Dassault Mirage F1AZ fighter aircraft to that country in 2006. The SAAF in 2003 put 21 F1 aircraft up for disposal by way of Armscor.

 

“…the Paramount Group is thus no newcomer to our business and they are likely to be good partners into the future as well.”

 

Aerosud also supplies components to global aircraft original equipment manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. It is also a risk-sharing partner in the Airbus Military A400M Loadmaster programme and an anchor tenant of the Centurion Aerospace village adjacent to Waterkloof air force base.

Potgieter says Aerosud’s potential workshare in the A400M programme is of a similar magnitude to that of Denel, whose CE this week told Parliament its figure was 137 million euro.



Paramount could not comment on the record.