Mauritian private investment entity Lonsa Group has acquired the majority shareholding in Everite, the industrial manufacturer of a range of building products for the commercial, industrial and residential markets.
The R600-million deal includes Everite’s assets, businesses and companies, including Sky Sands and Sheet-rite.
Lonsa Everite, the special purpose vehicle incorporated to execute the acquisition – made up of Lonsa (55.49%), Everite Management (14.5%), Legacy Africa Capital Partners (25.01%) and Muvhango Netshitangani (5%), emerged as the successful bidder following an auction.
Everite was put up for sale as part of the Group Five business rescue process.
The construction group was placed in business rescue in March 2019.
Everite and its various related businesses and subsidiaries employ more than 500 people.
Lonsa chairperson Robin Vela says the company acquired Everite because of its 80-year track record of profitability and cash generation, its significant tangible growth prospects in the rest of Africa and its strong management team.
Added to this are the barriers to entry created by the R2-billion Everite facility and the ten-year period it would take a potential competitor to get a similar facility and the necessary permits in place to compete; the competitive advantage offered by the fact that Everite is the only large-scale fibre cement manufacturer in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa; Everite being the market leader in the manufacture and distribution of several niche building products; and, lastly, the fact that the company is positioned for growth in the green/alternative building technology space and Autoclaved Aerated Concrete market as a unique licensee of Hebel Autoclaved Aerated Concrete, by the German Xella Group.
“Everite is a direct enabler of infrastructure and affordable housing development, and an indirect contributor to the creation of employment and alleviation of poverty in Africa,” says Vela.
He says Lonsa’s primary goal with the purchase is to increase the fibre cement production of Everite.
“Everite has some 50% excess production capacity on a new idle plant that is yet to be installed.
“Working with management, Lonsa would like to see the expansion of the Everite brand into the African continent, which to date only accounts for 10% of Everite’s sales.”