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Africa|Business|Health|Industrial|Services|Testing
Africa|Business|Health|Industrial|Services|Testing
africa|business|health|industrial|services|testing

Bridge Taxi Finance raises funds to support taxi industry, imports 650 ambulances

4th May 2020

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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Minibus taxi financier Bridge Taxi Finance has raised more than R280-million as part of a R1-billion fundraising programme to enable it to continue to finance taxis for use by the South African taxi industry.

Bridge Taxi Finance provides credit facilities to South African entrepreneurs in the minibus taxi industry. The company sources Chinese-made vehicles that are manufactured to South African specifications.

Boutique corporate finance advisory firm Redinkcapital arranged and structured a nontraditional funding solution for Bridge Taxi Finance, through its secured note programme registered with the JSE.

The successful fundraising took place during the international Covid-19 pandemic and consequent national lockdown.

Bridge Taxi Finance chairperson Vincent Raseroka says Bridge Taxi’s ability to raise funding in the debt capital market when South Africa is facing a health pandemic and an economic crisis, shows investors have confidence in its business model, and in the country as a whole.

The Bridge Taxi Finance funding included a single A note rated by Global Credit Ratings and listed on the JSE (Bridge Taxi Finance did not issue any senior notes). 

Funding was secured at a weighted average interest rate of 11.82% that was slightly above the rate that South Africa’s ten-year government bonds were yielding at that time.

In addition, as part of the national efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19, and to assist national health services in providing the best possible care for patients while protecting health professionals, Bridge Taxi Finance is importing 500 ambulances fitted with mobile testing stations from China.

These vehicles, together with 150 state of the art ambulances fitted with negative pressure chambers, will be made available to health authorities at cost.

“These vehicles are not bought for profit,” he says, adding that Bridge Taxi Finance is currently at an advanced level of negotiations to get the new negative pressure chambered-vehicles vetted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and local health authorities to get them operational as soon as possible.

Further, during the Covid-19 crisis, Bridge Taxi Finance has cut its clients’ monthly repayments by R200 a vehicle, to assist operators to buy sanitising material for drivers who are transporting essential services workers to and from work.

Clients’ monthly instalments have been placed on hold where their vehicles are not operational.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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