Ramaphosa quits Shanduka

Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday he will completely divest from Shanduka as the group is set to become part of the country's largest black owned private investment firm.

"Shanduka's majority shareholders have entered into an agreement that will, among other things, result in my complete divestment from the Group," Ramaphosa said in a statement.

He said the in the interim, his family's interests will be held in blind trusts.

Ramaphosa said that he stepped down from the boards of several companies to remove the potential for any conflict of interest and enable him to effectively perform his role as the new deputy president.

The transaction would allow Ramaphosa "to exit his business interest in Shanduka and focus on his responsibilities in government".

Pembani Group, led by entrepreneur Phuthuma Nhleko, Ramaphosa's family trust, Jadeite Limited and Standard Bank, amongst others, have entered into an agreement to combine their interests and create a new black-controlled natural resources and industrial holding group.

The group is set to become South Africa's largest black owned private investment firm, reported Reuters.

"The group will have a gross asset value in excess of R13.5bn, which will give it significant scale with liquidity to pursue value creating opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa."

The proposed transaction is subject to the conclusion of a number of additional agreements and is anticipated to be completed before the end of 2014.

“The proposed transaction creates an African champion," said Nhleko, who will also chair the new group.

Ramaphosa added that the new deal "enables me to leave Shanduka and eliminate any conflicts of interest confident that its founding vision of value creation, empowerment and transformation will continue through the new entity".

In January last year, following Ramaphosa's election as deputy president at the African National Congress' 2012 Mangaung conference, it was announced that he would step down from his positions at mining company Lonmin and packaging group Mondi.

Ramaphosa was a non-executive board member at Lonmin and a joint chair at Mondi Limited and Mondi.

"In the course of the next few weeks, I will take any further practical steps necessary to ensure that I comply with requirements of the Executive Ethics Code and uphold the integrity of my office," he said.

Ramaphosa, who founded Shanduka in 2001, said he will still be involved in the Shanduka Foundation, a non-profit organisation that works in the areas of school, skills and enterprise development.

Shanduka is invested in a portfolio of listed and unlisted companies and has holdings in the resources, food and beverage industries.

The group also invests in the financial services, energy, telecommunications, property and industrial sectors.

Shanduka has investments in South Africa, Mozambique, Mauritius, Ghana and Nigeria.

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