Laser Logistics is a member of The Laser Group. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Laser Group, the prominent independent and privately owned logistics company, has concluded a significant empower­ment transaction involving Pape Fund Managers to transform the company into a 51 percent black-owned group. 

The group’s black ownership comprises the black participation in Laser’s management consortium and a significant investment from Pape Fund Managers, a level-1 broad-based black economic empowerment fund manager, whose shareholders include the Carla Foundation Trust, a broad-based education and health upliftment trust that benefits rural women in the Eastern Cape. 

In terms of a transaction concluded on July 30, a management consortium led by Laser Group chief executive Iain Johnson, chairperson Philip Hayes and Pape Fund Managers through its boutique private equity fund Pape Fund 3, acquired 100 percent of the equity of the group. 

Pape has acquired a 48.3percent equity interest in the Laser Group for an undisclosed amount through the transaction. Investors in Pape Fund 3 include the Public Investment Corporation, the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund and FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank. 

John­son said the Laser Group was now one of the few indepen­dent logistics players in South Africa that was majority black-owned. 

The group employs more than 3500 people, operates a fleet of more than 1000 vehicles from 110 facilities across South Africa and had a turnover of more than R2.4billion in its 2017 financial year. 

Its operating businesses include express distribution through the DPD Laser businesses of Dawn Wing and Time Freight, specialist front door and back door retail distribution through Laser Logistics Retail and Laser Logistics Cold Chain, and international clearing, forwarding and project logistics through GAC Laser International Logistics. 

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