Roy Cokayne

Super Group, the listed transport and mobility group, has acquired a 50.1 percent stake in Great Wall Motors (GWM) South Africa for an undisclosed amount.

Backed by Great Wall Motors in China, GWM SA entered the South African market in March 2007 and today has a national network of 75 dealers and more than 50 000 GWM vehicles on South Africa’s roads.

It also has a parts distribution warehouse in Durban with more than R160 million in spare parts.

Tony Pinfold, the chairman of GWM SA, said yesterday that the investment by Super Group further cemented GWM SA’s presence in the sector.

“We look forward to harnessing all the synergies and opportunities brought forth by our allegiance with this reputable group,” he said.

Peter Mountford, Super Group’s chief executive, said the acquisition fitted the profile of a sound and complementary business investment for Super Group.

“GWM has proven to be a brand that is going places, both globally and in South Africa.

“Super Group has a wide range of expertise in the supply chain and logistics arena, as well as in parts distribution, dealerships and the fleet management business, all of which will significantly complement and benefit GWM in the future.

“We are very excited about the prospects of this new association,” he said.

Colin Brown, the chief financial officer of Super Group, said it was not possible to disclose at this stage the size of the investment Super Group had made in GWM SA.

Brown said Super Group had been working on the transaction since the fourth quarter of last year.

Although it had been approved by the Competition Commission, it had not yet been finalised, Brown said. Two regulatory hurdles still had to be cleared and the sale contract finalised.

Brown said the existing management of GWM SA would remain in place, but was still uncertainty about where it would fit into the businesses of Super Group.

While Super Group owns a number vehicle dealerships, Brown said the GWM SA business was smaller than the group’s biggest dealership. It could fit into Super Group’s automotive business but it was quite a different business and it involved more of the functions of a distributorship.

“We obviously have a lot of logistics, supply chain and importing skills and have experience in the dealership side as well, so we can bring some skills and activities into it.”

Super Group shares lost 20c to end at R27.80 yesterday.