Ramaphosa disposes of his business interests to MTN
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Chris Spillane and Franz Wild
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa completed negotiations for the sale of most of his business interests to a company led by MTN chairman Phuthuma Nhleko, creating a billion dollar black-owned company, people familiar with the matter said.
Ramaphosa’s family trust sold his 30 percent stake in Shanduka, the group he founded in 2001 after quitting government when he was beaten to the post of Nelson Mandela’s deputy by Thabo Mbeki, three people said, asking not to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. He will retain investments in property and McDonald’s local franchise.
The combination of closely held Shanduka and Nhleko’s Pembani Group will create a company with assets of R11 billion, according to estimates made by the companies last year. After at least a year of negotiations all legal documents have been signed and the transaction is now awaiting approval from regulators.
Shanduka has stakes in 29 businesses, ranging from Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender, to mobile-phone company MTN and a coal-mining venture with Glencore. Ramaphosa’s remaining company shareholdings will he held in blind trusts, his office said last year.
Shanduka spokeswoman Lorraine Jagesar and Pembani spokesman Lufuno Makhari weren’t immediately available when called. Ronnie Mamoepa, a spokesman for Ramaphosa, declined to comment.
Ramaphosa, 62, re-entered politics in 2012.
His divestment completes a promise to resolve any conflicts of interest since becoming the country’s deputy president. Prior to 1994 he formed the country’s biggest labour union, led negotiations that ended apartheid and helped to write South Africa’s democratic constitution.
With a fortune of $550 million (R6.55 billion) Ramaphosa is the country’s second-richest black person after Patrice Motsepe, his brother-in-law, according to the Sunday Times. Nhleko is the fifth-richest black South African with assets of $142m. He pioneered MTN to become Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator.
Pembani holds a stake in Engen, controlled by Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional and has investments in companies including the South African coal unit of BHP Billiton. –