Saab South Africa signs up Sekunjalo


Investment holding company Sekunjalo is Saab’s new strategic partner in South Africa taking a 25% stake in the local operations of the Swedish defence giant. Through the transaction Sekunjalo Investment Ltd is acquiring an up-front equity interest in Saab South Africa (Pty) Ltd, corresponding to 25% of voting rights and 5% of the capital.
“Based on the performance of the company, Sekunjalo Investment Ltd will over time [five years] be entitled to increase its share of the capital up to maximum 25%,” a Saab statement adds. “This strategic relationship will complement current BEE [black economic empowerment] partners and further reinforce and develop existing Saab business in South Africa.”

Saab AB CE Åke Svensson says the transaction, for which no figure were released, “confirms Saab’s confidence in the opportunities within South Africa and the sub-Saharan region as well as our commitment to the industrial growth and future prosperity of South Africa. With Sekunjalo Investment Ltd as a strategic partner Saab will further strengthen its position in the South African market”.

Sekunjalo Investment Ltd, chaired by majority shareholder Iqbal Survé, was founded in 1997 and listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange in 1999. It is a majority black-owned and black-controlled company with strong B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) credentials. Current investments span the fishing sector, information technology, healthcare and biotechnology.

In its statement Sekunjalo said the deal shows it has become a partner of choice to multinationals due to its credibility and credentials. Sekunjalo CE Khalid Abdulla says the “relationship is in line with the company’s strategy to becoming a partner of choice to multinationals in key sectors including the defence sector by adding value, job creation, alleviating poverty, finding solutions in Africa and regional security. “With this shareholding we are entitled to appoint two members to the board of directors whereby we will be able to add significant value to the deal.”

In April Sekunjalo was recognised as South Africa’s Top Empowerment Company by the authoritative Financial Mail/Empowerdex Survey. In 2007 the company was selected as one of the top 125 New Champions Global Growth Companies by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Survé added the deal “demonstrates Saab’s commitment to South African businesses and communities and will provide opportunities for both parties to accelerate their growth especially in the defence sector in Southern Africa.”