Imperial Holdings separation set to deliver two market leading companies on the JSE

Nov 22, 2018

Delivering seamless, multi-product advice over a period of more than 18 months, Standard Bank, acting as financial and debt advisor, transaction sponsor, South African debt arranger and lender, played an integral role in supporting Imperial Holdings’ unbundling of Motus, which sees the two companies, Imperial Logistics Limited (“Imperial Logistics”) and Motus Holdings Limited (“Motus”), commence trading separately on the Main Board of the JSE today.

Following a strategic review which commenced four years ago, Imperial Holdings recognised that its logistics and diversified automotive operations benefited from no operational synergies and offered enhanced growth potential if allowed to pursue independent strategies as standalone businesses. As such, Imperial Holdings implemented various steps to enable the strategic focus, management and reporting of the two business as distinct operations, Imperial Logistics and Motus, as a precursor to today's separation. 

“In simple terms, Imperial Holdings, as an integral player of the South African industrials landscape for 70 years, made a decision to evolve into two new standalone businesses to enhance their ability to achieve their respective strategic goals and create greater value for shareholders over the longer term,” said Bill Blackie, Head, Investment Banking for Standard Bank Group. 

Standard Bank’s long-standing relationship with Imperial Holdings, along with its experience in advising on recent unbundlings in the South African market, meant that the bank was a natural choice to act as advisor to Imperial Holdings on the separation from an early stage. 

“Standard Bank’s relationship gave us the opportunity to approach Imperial Holdings with a ZAR 10 billion letter of commitment at a very early stage in discussions,” said Mr Blackie.  “This provided management with the comfort of our institutional support for their business and confidence that two well capitalised companies would emerge from the separation.” 

Today, in the place of Imperial Holdings, stand two strategically-focused blue-chip South African corporates. Both Imperial Logistics and Motus are set to extend Imperial Holdings’ tradition of innovation and growth as proud inheritors and exemplars of South African corporate excellence and governance.  

Imperial Logistics is an integrated outsourced logistics service provider with a diversified presence across Africa and Europe. 

Says Mohammed Akoojee, CEO Designate for Imperial Logistics: “We are pleased that the unbundling and separate listing of Motus was supported and is now unconditional.  As we look forward to an exciting new era of Imperial Logistics as a listed entity, Imperial Logistics is well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities in its business sphere and manage the risks in order to deliver on its strategic, financial and operational objectives and targets over the coming years. A key priority remains to continue to position the company as a market leader in its respective industries.”

Motus is a leading diversified (non-manufacturing) South African business to the automotive sector, focusing on import and distribution, retail and rental, motor related financial services and aftermarket parts, with a select international presence in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Acting Motus CEO, Ockert Janse van Rensburg commented on the listing: “This is an exciting milestone in the history of our company. We appreciate the confidence that our shareholders have placed in us and acknowledge the responsibility to unlock value for our stakeholders. Motus has a highly experienced management team with deep industry knowledge and a proven track record with years of collective experience. Our fully integrated business model across the automotive value chain and leveraging the potential of our people, enables Motus to offer a differentiated value proposition to customers, OEMs and business partners. We are committed to remaining relevant in our industry and believe that our products and services will create new avenues to leading-edge mobility solutions. The unbundling will enhance strategic focus and improve operational efficiency, enabling the achievement of strategic goals and the creation of sustainable value for shareholders.”

Key to successfully supporting this complex transaction was Standard Bank’s proven capability and execution experience across multiple product areas, including Financial and Debt Advisory, Equity and Debt Capital Markets and Debt Arranging, Transactional Products and Services and Exchange Control. 

“The creation of two independent businesses will see more efficient capital structures, that are primed to support their individual growth strategies,” said Mr Blackie.

The complexity of this landmark transaction, “provides further proof of Standard Bank’s ability to deliver seamless cross-functional solutions that manage client risk while building operational and capital capacity in compelling stand-alone structures positioned for growth,” said Mr Blackie.  

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