PRIVATE EQUITY: on the road
A consortium of blue chip private equity investors has bought RTT, Africa’s largest privately owned parcel distribution company. RTT, which has been controlled by private equity group Actis since 2007, has been sold to a consortium led by Ethos, along with London-based Development Partners International (DPI) and the Pretoria-based Public Investment Corp (PIC).
The sellers are also private equity players: Actis, Old Mutual and RMB.
RTT is the third investment so far by the R7,6bn Ethos Fund VI.
About 20% of the equity will be retained by the RTT management team and a black empowerment trust.
Anthonie de Beer, a partner at Ethos, says that with a leading market position and a differentiated business model, RTT was considered an attractive investment opportunity.
De Beer will not disclose the transaction price, but he says its cheque (for about half the equity) is within Ethos’s sweet spot, historically about R400m to R800m.
RTT has a low profile among consumers but it is a large business with revenues of R2,5bn, 5000 staff, 1200 vehicles and over 120000m² of warehousing.
Ethos partner Arshad Essa says it has some blue chip clients, such as MTN and clothing retailers.
He says the consortium has positioned RTT’s balance sheet to fund continued growth in the business, particularly into neighbouring countries.
Eduardo Guiterrez Garcia, a partner at DPI, says that as a pan-African private equity fund DPI can help RTT to expand its service offering across the continent.
RTT CE Freddy Moore says the group and its new shareholders have a shared vision of growth which he hopes will take RTT to new heights by expanding offerings and tailoring them to customers’ needs.
The PIC, which is an investor in Ethos Fund VI, has the right to co-invest directly in businesses in which the fund invests.