Bidvest sells stake in logistics unit to Akhona Strategic Investments

A subsidiary of South African conglomerate Bidvest is selling a 27.5% stake in a logistics business to black women-owned financial firm Akhona Strategic Investments.  

Akhona, headed by former investment banker Nolunthando Gosa, will purchase the Bidvest International Logistics stake from Bidfreight.

African Bank and Greenpoint Capital will fund the deal, Gosa said, but declined to disclose further financial details on the transaction. 

“The deal forms part of our strategy to invest in sectors like logistics that form the backbone of our economy and backing management teams with the ability to weather economic cycles,” she said in an interview.

“With some of the current logistics challenges in South Africa, we have seen a decline in revenues from major sectors like mining that rely on logistics to move their product from pit to port – emphasizing how important investing in the sector is.”

Bidvest International Logistics reported over 8 billion rand ($418 million) in revenues in the past year, she said. The firm runs operations in 120 countries jointly with partner EMO Trans Inc. 

Transport and logistics companies in South Africa are facing operating challenges due to deteriorating infrastructure and persistent power cuts.

Improvements in the performance of state-owned firms such as rail and ports company Transnet and power utility Eskom could greatly improve the outlook for logistics firms there. 

Energy, infrastructure and logistics crises in South Africa remain Bidvest’s biggest risks, the group said in its annual report. Unitrans, another large South African logistics operator, is also seeking investors.