Actis adds Alstom to its portfolio

Abdul Milazi

Abdul Milazi

Leading emerging markets private equity investor, Actis, yesterday announced that it had acquired one of the country's major electrical engineering firms, Alstom SA, for R5,16billion.

The company said the acquisition was done through a newly formed consortium, the Actis Consortium, which includes Old Mutual Investment Group SA, BEE partners, Kagiso, Tiso and an unnamed private black investor.

Last year Actis shelled out R8,4billion in a buyout of Alexander Forbes, only months after US group Bain Capital bought local retailer Edcon for R25billion.

Garth Jarvis, a director at Actis, said: "Investing in South African infrastructure alongside a strong management team to create value underlines Actis's core philosophy of partnership and driving sustainable development in emerging markets."

He said Alstom SA, which has been operating in the country for more than 100 years, was expected to benefit from increased infrastructure expenditure in the power distribution sector.

Mark Wilson, Alstom SA chief executive, said management of the company and the operating divisions would remain unchanged.

"(Also) the cooperation, distribution, commercial and technology agreements with Alstom, Areva T&D and other principals represented by the company will remain in place," he said.