ANA raises R1bn foreign stake

Published, 17 February 2017 by ANA Reporter, Independent Media at 07:35am.

Johannesburg – African News Agency (ANA), the continent’s first content syndication service and social media platform for text, pictures, and videos, has raised $80 million (R1.04 billion) from China, the US and the Middle East.

With this investment, ANA has in total raised $165 million since its inception.

In 2015, the entity raised $30 million and, last year, $55 million.

The total placing has resulted in 15 percent of the shareholding now held by international investors, and 85 percent of shares belonging to the Sekunjalo Group.

ANA president Professor Arthur Mutambara said he was delighted at the third tranche of investment.

Confidence

Mutambara said the investment was a sign of confidence, firstly in an African company, but mostly in the technology platforms which led to ANA exceeding its first milestone three months ago of reaching one billion users.

He said he would use the capital to further the technology platforms and to integrate both business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer.

“Technology is the great equaliser. The ANA multimedia technology platform will revolutionise the way Africans communicate among themselves, rebrand the continent, and ignite economic development,” Mutambara said, adding that the capital would also enhance engagement in social media platforms such as Facebook and to ensure it became the global primary provider for the African content by 2020.

ANA is headquartered in South Africa with ownership structures in Mauritius and Switzerland for global expansion. It is also planning to set up commercial media bureaus in New York, London, Shanghai and Dubai, allowing it to continue penetrating global audiences, and furthering its strategy to becoming the go-to source for news, information and data about Africa.

Mutambara said ANA would make an announcement about a platform developed in Africa at the World Economic Forum meeting in Durban in May.

ANA chief executive Grant Fredericks said the agency had achieved its second strategic milestone, enabling technology-driven social media platforms for text, pictures and videos.

“This is an exciting future for ANA and technology in Africa as social media platforms are currently dominated by Facebook and others,” Fredericks said.

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It’s all systems go for Premier’s JSE listing

Published, 17 February 2017 by Joesph Booysen, Business Report at 08:03am

Cape Town – Premier Food and Fishing (PFF) is all set for its listing on the JSE following successful investor roadshows in Johannesburg and Cape Town this week.

The company is set to be listed next month with an estimated 117 million shares, representing 45 percent of PFF’s equity post listing valued at R526.5 million.

Group chief executive Khalid Abdulla said the company controlled 60 percent of the local rock lobster exports to the US and held 12 percent of the total west coast of supplies to the Far East.

He said the company was also home to the third-­largest pilchard allocated quota of 7percent.

“Our products are of very high quality and are highly regarded in America,” he said.

“As AEEI, the major shareholder, we have been very happy with our returns in this the food and fishing business.”

Integrated

Premier Fishing is the vertically integrated food and fishing division of the JSE-listed AEEI – African Equity Empowerment Investments – and is the largest black-owned and controlled fishing company in the South Africa.

It also owns an abalone aquaculture farm in Gansbaai, which Abdulla described as a high-margin, low-risk business with a 70 percent gross profit margin.

He said the farm produced 120 tons of cultured abalone a year and was running at 100 percent capacity.

He said over the past two years the company had invested millions of rand in the alternative energy sector at the farm.

Read also: Premier Foods and Fishing to list in March

Abdulla said the company was set to increase the supply of its much-sought-after abalone product to its overseas client base.

Samier Saban, the chief executive of Premier Fishing, said in an earlier interview this month that the abalone operation employed more than 100 people and, with further expansion, it would increase its workforce.

“The planned expansion, once completed, would also have alternative energy (solar) installed to support the additional energy required and place less pressure on the electricity grid, which would be enough to benefit the community of Gansbaai,” said Saban.

“We also support small-scale subsistence fishermen and run a corporate social investment (CSI) programme to develop communities within which we work.”

Saban said once the expansion was completed, the farm would be able to produce up to 320 tons of abalone over the next three years.

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Sharing a noble cause

Published, 26 January 2017, by Adri Senekal, Business Report at 08:21am

“Dignity is the right of every person, including prisoners. Today’s prisoner could be tomorrow’s president or scientist or leader. Let’s come together to make the world a better place.” – Dr Iqbal Survé

The Geneva-based International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), one of the most prestigious global NGOs, announced the appointment of Sekunjalo Group chairman Dr Iqbal Survé to its global advisory board in Switzerland last week.

Karen Tse, the chief executive and founder of IBJ, expressed her excitement “to have finally convinced Survé, after eight years of trying, to serve on the global advisory board of IBJ”.

“Dr Survé is an influential African entrepreneur, a global business leader and a recognised philanthropist; he is the most influential business leader in Africa with the vision to shape the future of the African continent,” Tse said.

Survé currently serves as a patron or board member of a number of NGO’s across the globe, and Survé philanthropies through its seven affiliated foundations, which support initiatives in childrens’, women and human rights; climate change; healthcare solutions for the poor; education and science; arts and culture; social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

Tse said she was delighted that after eight years she convinced Survé to share his outstanding leadership skills and philanthropic experience with IBJ.

Read also: Top 8 #WEF2017 issues as SA heads to Davos

“We respect Dr Survé for his medical work with victims of apartheid and provision of medical care to a number of prominent South Africans during and after their release from Robben Island.

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