Ethos To Buy Significant Percentage Of Busby - Bloomberg
EtCape Town - Ethos Private Equity had a war chest of R5.5 billion in its Ethos Private Equity Fund V to fund its investments, Bill Ashmore, a partner, said yesterday.
Ashmore was speaking after Bloomberg reported that it might make an offer for House of Busby, the international brands retailer, of R1.28 billion.
The news service said Ethos planned to buy a "significant percentage" of Busby's equity at R21 a share.
Ashmore said Ethos had already made a few investments, including in Moresport, Brandcorp, and the potential investment in Busby was something the company would take a hard look at.
No firm offer had been made to Busby management, however.
The firm was always contemplating investments and looked not only in South Africa but outside the country in sub-Saharan Africa.
This was a continuing process that would be carried out over the next three to four years.
Ashmore declined to say more. Syd Vianello, a retail analyst with Nedcor Securities, said the Busby management clearly did not want to sell out and all Ethos was keen to do was pick out the minorities so that the company had two shareholders.
He could, however, not say whether the price mentioned was a reasonable one. There were no firm offers yet and Ethos just said it was contemplating an investment and there was no firm offer yet.
Shane Lashansky, the financial director for the group, said the company was in a closed period and he could not say much about the offer because of a confidentiality agreement.