SA gas cylinder start-up Bluedrop secures R300m investment
JOHANNESBURG - Bluedrop, a Johannesburg-based start-up, has received a R300 million investment from Washington-based private equity company J. Sassoon Group.
The investment is for the construction of Bluedrop’s liquefied petroleum gas cylinder manufacturing plant, which will be based western Johannesburg.
In a statement, Bluedrop said the project aimed to create 110 direct jobs during construction and 35 jobs during the commercial operation.
Bluedrop chief financial officer Kenneth Maduna said: “As an independent 100% black-owned company, we are ecstatic with the investment made by J. Sassoon Group. It shows they have confidence in us and in South Africa as an investment destination.”
The company said it would set a new standard for gas cylinder manufacturing in South Africa by using the highest standards in its manufacturing processes, along with the latest technology.
According to Bluedrop, among the challenges they faced was that they were in a pre-revenue stage in a competitive and highly regulated industry. “J. Sassoon’s approach complements start-up strengths while strengthening their weaknesses,” said Bluedrop.
J. Sassoon Group chief executive Bruce Fein said Bluedrop was the first South African pre-revenue start-up in which the company has invested.
“Our focus is on start-ups, entrepreneurs and mid-market companies. Bluedrop is the type of forward-facing, energetic company we are looking for. We are confident that this is a value-accretive investment,” he said.
Bluedrop said that accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) served as external consultants for J. Sassoon. PWC provided consultancy and advisory services for the project.
Construction of the manufacturing plant was expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year. It will take 12 to 14 months to complete.
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