Shan­duka Group CEO to step down ahead of merger

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE - Ma­hanyele joined Shan­duka in 2004 as the man­ag­ing direc­tor of Shan­duka En­ergy. Pre­vi­ously, she was head of the project fi­nance South Africa unit at the Devel­op­ment Bank of South­ern Africa, and vice-pres­i­dent at Field­stone (New York and South Africa), whic

Shan­duka Group CEO Phuti Ma­hanyele says that she is leav­ing the group to go into a “d i f f e r ent v ent ur e ”, not dis­clos­ing the ex­act de­tails of what this next ven­ture is. She is not go­ing into a cor­po­rate struc­ture, but will be form­ing a new en­tity, which she will only re­veal when she leaves in June. Ma­hanyele has also been ap­pointed chair­man of In­dian ICT com­pany NBS In­fosys.

Alt hough s he doesn’t sa y it , Ma­hanyele may have left any­way given the im­mi­nent merger of Shan­duka with Pem­bani, a move which ef­fec­tively pools the as­sets of Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa with those of for­mer MTN CEO Phuthuma Nh­leko.

It is likely she will be re­placed as CEO by for­mer Bar­clays Africa ex­ec­u­tive Kennedy Bun­gane, who was ap­pointed as Pem­bani CEO in Au­gust last year.

The Pem­bani/Shan­duka merger is not f in­alised. Shan­duka claims a net as­set value (NAV) of R8.1bn in March 2014, prior to the an­nounce­ment of the merger. The merged group has in­di­cated it has as­sets of R11bn (down from the orig­i­nal as­sess­ment of over R13bn), in­di­cat­ing that Pem­bani is the ju­nior player in this merger. Both groups are com­pletely opaque. Shan­duka lists its ma­jor as­sets, which in­clude Coca-Cola South Africa, McDon­ald’s, Incwala Re­sources, Shan­duka Coal, Scaw, Mac­steel, MTN, Stan­dard Bank, Lib­erty and Alexander Forbes, but does not pro­vide fi­nan­cials.

It says that NAV was R4.7bn in 2009, R5.9bn in 2010 and R8.1bn in March 2014, prior to the an­nounce­ment of the merger. Pem­bani has in­vest­ments in En­gen, Bil­li­ton En­ergy Coal SA, Exxaro and Afrisam. It does not even have a web­site.

Ma­hanyele says that the ap­point­ment of the next CEO may de­pend on the out­come of the merger process, but in­sists her de­par­ture has noth­ing to do with it. “Phuthuma [Nh­leko] had spo­ken to me about stay­ing, but I have al­ways wanted to go form my new ven­ture. I could have left ear­lier, but wanted to make sure I see that trans­ac­tion through,” she says.

Ma­hanyele says the merger is go­ing very well, and they will make sub­mis­sions to the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion in the f irst week of March. A new build­ing un­der con­struc­tion on Grayston Drive in Sand­ton will house the com­bined staff.

When she joined in 2004, Shan­duka was a small or­gan­i­sa­tion. Since then, Ma­hanyele says, one of the big­gest shifts has been the move from pas­sive to op­er­a­tional in­vestor. Among her high­lights were Chi­nese In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion’s ac­qui­si­tion of 25% of Shan­duka and the ac­qui­si­tion of McDon­ald’s, which rep­re­sented a shift from re­sources into a sec­tor which is con­sumer-fo­cused.

She also ap­pre­ci­ated the fact that she was part of an or­gan­i­sa­tion mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in so­ci­ety through the Shan­duka Foun­da­tion. There have been some lows, too: for ex­am­ple, Marikana where Ramaphosa was con­tro­ver­sially in­volved through Shan­duka’s in­vest­ment in Lon­min. “Marikana has by the far been the great­est sad­ness for all of us. Whether it was in a com­pany Shan­duka in­vested in or not, it was a great mo­ment for all of us as South Africans,” she says, fur­ther prais­ing Lon­min man­age­ment for be­ing able to start to move for­ward.

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