Safety first for Pal­adin?

Finweek English Edition - - COMPANIES & MARKETS -

AT THE re­cent PAL­ADIN CAP­I­TAL AGM ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Piet Mou­ton – in a rather broad ru­mi­na­tion about strat­egy – cited the se­cu­rity sec­tor as a pos­si­ble in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity. Mou­ton in­ti­mated the pri­vate se­cu­rity sec­tor – much like pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion (where Pal­adin has a big stake in newly listed Curro Hold­ings) – is an in­dus­try that doesn’t scratch to find de­mand for its ser­vices.

Ap­par­ently pri­vate se­cu­rity guards now out­num­ber South Africa’s Po­lice Force. How­ever, as Mou­ton pointed out the bar­ri­ers to en­try aren’t ex­actly high.

Whether Pal­adin would con­sider start­ing its own se­cu­rity ser­vices (even if Pal­adin Se­cu­rity has a re­ally re­in­forced ring to it) seems doubt­ful. That would re­quire a rather hec­tic bit of cor­po­rate ma­noeu­vring and mus­ter­ing in an in­dus­try that, out­side the larger play­ers, is frag­mented.

Th­eS­PEC­ta­cle – ob­vi­ously fore­go­ing any finder’s fee – might be in­clined to sug­gest Pal­adin lock a tar­get on COM­MAND HOLD­INGS, which cur­rently seems to be en­gaged in a skir­mish with ma­jor­ity share­holder Cape Em­pow­er­ment. Per­haps Pal­adin, com­ing in as a re­source­ful equity part­ner, could even bro­ker a very prof­itable peace be­tween Com­mand and CAP – which we should re­mem­ber also has its own fast-grow­ing se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions.

PIET MOU­TON

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