Imperial inks US$300m deal to acquire logistics company J&J

MOZAMBIQUEImperial Logistics has announced that it reached an agreement to buy African logistics company J&J Group in a R4.4 billion (US$300 million) deal.

The agreement comes on the back of Imperial’s announcement that Dubai Ports World (DP World) wants to buy and de-list the local group in a R12.7 billion deal (US$867.9 million).

Imperial explained that it had received DP World’s consent for the J&J transaction, which will be concluded once regulatory and other conditions are fulfilled. 

J&J has logistics operations between Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“This acquisition is in line with Imperial’s ‘Gateway to Africa’ strategy as it will optimize and expand Imperial’s reach in Africa by providing scale in end-to-end cross border transportation services in key African countries and new industries,” said Imperial Group CEO Mohammed Akoojee, in the announcement. 

The company plans to use J&J’s routes in the Beira Corridor, which links parts of Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, to the Port of Beira, in Mozambique while the North South Corridor links the port of Durban to the DRC’s Copperbelt and Zambia.

Imperial said the acquisition will be funded with a combination of cash and debt, in three tranches that will start with the logistics company buying up 51% of J&J.

The transaction will be followed by a second 46.5% acquisition and a final one of 2.5%.

“We are excited for J&J to partner with Imperial and believe that the operations of these two businesses are very complementary. This combination offers existing and potential J&J clients a true gateway to Africa,” said J&J’s controlling shareholders, the Carlyle Group and Ethos Private Equity.

One week ago, Imperial Logistics said that it was planning to acquire transportation firm J&J Africa ahead of its own takeover by Dubai giant logistics giant DP World.

The Mozambican logistics company was bought by Carlyle Group and Investec Asset Management, now rebranded as Ninety One Plc in 2014 and J&J was valued at US$200 million at the time, the people said.

“This acquisition is in line with Imperial’s ‘Gateway to Africa’ strategy as it will optimize and expand Imperial’s reach in Africa by providing scale in end-to-end cross border transportation services in key African countries and new industries”

Mohammed Akooje – CEO, Imperial Group

A purchase of Mozambique-based J&J is one of Imperial’s largest to date, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and would boost its presence on the continent just as it prepares to come under new ownership.

Dubai-based ports operator DP World this month said it would buy Imperial in what will be its most significant acquisition in Africa.

DP World said the deal demonstrated long-term confidence in the South African economy despite recent challenges.

In June 2021, Imperial announced that through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Imperial Capital that it had entered into a sale of shares agreement for the acquisition of 100 percent of the issued share capital of Deep Catch Namibia Holdings (Deep Catch) for an estimated purchase consideration of N$633 million (US$43.1 million), from an investment consortium led by Salt Capital.

The consortium includes the German development finance institution (DEG) and management shareholders.

Deep Catch is a diversified and vertically integrated business engaged in the wholesale, distribution and cold storage of perishable foods (mainly poultry, fish and dairy products) in Namibia and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

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