Phembani, an investment house specialising in mining, energy, and diversified industrial services, is accelerating its growth trajectory and has increased its stake in Engen Limited from 20 to 26 percent, the company said on Sunday.
CEO Kennedy Bungane said following the merger of Shanduka and Phembani a year ago the new group sought to create a leading black industrial group with a pan African outlook in select sectors. The Engen transaction showed that as growth initiatives reached fruition, the results fed the continuing evolution of Phembani’s development.
“We have been working hard at bedding down the merger and ensuring a successful integration of the two companies. It is in that context that we consider this transaction as an important milestone in moving beyond the merger and focusing on the central task of executing our growth strategy. We are pleased to have increased our shareholding in Engen Limited throughout the full value chain of the group’s midstream and downstream businesses both in SA and rest of Africa,” said Bungane.
The remaining 74 percent of Engen was owned by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), the Malaysian national integrated oil and gas company. The additional black shareholding would strengthen Petronas’s partnership with Phembani at a group level, enable Engen SA to further improve on its BEE scorecard credentials, which was important for the company to grow its market share in the domestic commercial downstream market.
Engen’s businesses included the supply, trade and operations of crude oil, refining of crude in Durban with a capacity of 120,000 barrels per day into different petroleum products, and blending of world-class lubricants products. Furthermore, Engen distributed these products to its about 1500 service stations in over 20 countries across sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Phembani’s other investments were in mining, infrastructure, and diversified sectors.
“We are committed to growing Phembani’s exposure and strategic influence in companies that are making a real difference in SA and Africa’s market opportunities. The combination of SA/Africa’s ‘rise in disposable consumer income’, ‘green shoots in commodity prices’, ‘infrastructure gaps’, and improvements in regional intra-trade is an opportunity for our investee companies to position themselves for growth in the domestic and regional market.
“We believe that successfully executing on our strategy in mining, energy, infrastructure, and diversified industries will enable us to reward stakeholders and inspire our country, communities, and continent,” said Bungane.
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s family trust sold its 30 percent stake in Shanduka, the group he founded in 2001, to Phembani, chaired by entrepreneur Phuthuma Nhleko.
A year after negotiations and all legal documents were signed and the transaction approved by regulators, Bungane believed Phembani’s asset value provided with it the scale and liquidity to pursue possibly value-creating prospects across the African continent.
“One truth in economics is that companies are constantly expanding and contracting the size and scope of their businesses. For Phembani, what is more important for growth is how the company is led; how the existing strategy is brought to life; how we impact on our communities and how our people are enthused to deliver.
“Successful execution requires energy, leadership, and for organisations to be receptive to new ideas and changes. Phembani is ready and prepared for a growth wave,” Bungane said.