The heavy equipment manufacturer and distributor announced the conclusion on Wednesdayof a broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) agreement with SiBi Capital, an entity entirely owned and managed by black women.
Bell Group chief executive Gary Bell said the agreement had been specifically structured to pursue real transformation through the economic empowerment of black women.
Bell said the women would add value to the company and align Bell’s business strategy with the government's economic transformation requirements.
He said this would also place the firm in a unique position to be the only company that produces locally.
“It will allow customers to claim the benefit of buying from a 30 percent black women-owned entity, which could then potentially earn them an additional four points on their overall B-BBEE verification, which in turn increases their ability to bid for and win contracts,” Bell said.
SiBi Capital currently holds 22.5 percent of shares in Bell Equipment Sales South Africa (Bessa), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Equipment. The empowerment is represented by Bharti Harie and Sindi Mabaso-Koyana, who each own 50 percent of the entity.
A further 7.5 percent stake in Bessa will be held by the newly formed Bell Equipment Foundation, a broad-based trust which will have black women as its beneficiaries, while Bell Equipment retains 70 percent ownership.
Bell said it was necessary to create a sustainable funding structure that is not reliant on external finance.
Read also: Bell Equipment in empowerment deal
“We believe that this objective has been met and that we can create a long-term relationship with SiBi Capital, through Bharti and Sindi, who can add real value to the Bessa business.
He said both women are extremely accomplished.
“Bharti headed up the corporate funding and international finance departments of the Industrial Development Corporation, presently serves as an independent non-executive on the boards of Lenmed Investments, Ascendis Health and the Mineworkers Investment Company and is also chairperson of various sub-committees.
"Most importantly she has served on the Bell board for the past six years and is perfectly suited as a BEE partner to Bessa due to her direct knowledge of Bell, its history, vision and industry challenges.”
Bell said Mabaso-Koyana, a chartered accountant, brought a wealth of experience to the company.
“Her corporate life has included roles as chief financial officer of Transnet, managing director of Viamax Logistics, executive partner at Ernst & Young, among others, and has also served on a number of boards like SAA, Armscor and Altron.
"Her current board positions include Adcorp Holdings, MTN Zakhele and Toyota South Africa.”
Bell said Mabaso-Koyana was passionate about women’s development and is a founder member of African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA).
“She also helped found AWCA’s investment arm as a broad-based investment company which she currently chairs.”
Bell Equipment shares dropped 0.07 percent at the JSE to close at R13.99.