Taxi industry lender to list
THE main lender to the minibus taxi industry, which provides the country's primary form of cheap transport, said it is planning to list on Johannesburg's stock exchange next month through a private placement.
Transaction Capital, which had loans and advances worth R6.7bn in the year to the end of September 2011, said it is aiming to issue at least 50million shares.
CEO Mark Lamberti declined on a conference call to say exactly how much money the group hoped to raise in the private placement offer but said it hoped to use some of the capital to retire debt.
Johannesburg has Africa's largest bourse by far and its All-Share index scaled record peaks last week. But new listings and offerings, private or public, have been rare of late, in part because of turbulence in global markets. In 2011, there were 16 new listings on the bourse, up from 14 in 2010, but well down from the 62 in 2007 before the global financial crisis.
The listing comes against the backdrop of a government drive to replace ageing taxis - run by the private sector - with newer and safer models. Many are badly maintained, contributing to the carnage on the roads.
Lamberti said he saw "significant renewal of the taxi fleet taking place over the next five to eight years".
The group's taxi division, SA Taxi, lends to more than 20000 operators in South Africa. The company said it will issue a pre-listing statement shortly.