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BDC takes over Transport Holdings

Publishing Date : 15 October, 2018

Author : REARABILWE RAMAPHANE

Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), a wholly owned government investment arm has bought out Imperial Group from Botswana transport and logistics conglomerate outfit, Transport Holdings (TH).


At a shares transfer ceremony held at TH workshops in Gaborone this week, Botswana Development Corporation announced that the successful management buyout, a 149 million pula transaction will see Transport Holdings now a 100 % Botswana owned company. The shares transfer deal will culminate with the transfer of majority shareholding of TH into local hands therefore making it a citizen-owned enterprise.


In addition to the management buyout of the majority shareholder, Imperial, which owns 80% of TH, BDC’s investment will finance the further growth acquisition of TH’s subsidiary, Imperilog Botswana, in which the minority shareholders hold the remaining 30%. Thirdly the deal is also purposed to finance growth capital for TH’s African expansion strategy.


“This is a golden moment for our Nation because a proudly Botswana business is now taking the reins of its destiny that shines with prospects of further growth. We are confident in the management team who Provide relevant industry experience which will continue to serve TH in taking-on the continental industry,” said BDC Managing Director, Mr Bashi Gaetsaloe.


According to the BDC MD, the Transport Holding transaction is testament to his corporation’s portfolio management strategy’s fruitful efforts of positioning home-grown talent to steer the growth of leading industries in the economy. “As the nation’s main investment operation for driving considerable commercial developments, it remains an imperative for us to engineer the growth of local enterprises,” he said.  


Transport Holdings Group is a leading Botswana conglomerate of transport and logistics companies with a twenty-five-year history in the market. “Over out 25 years in business, Transport Holdings has grown from a 3-truck business, to a 100-truck operation with an asset value of approximately P77 million presently, I would like to thank my team for ensuring this transaction was a resounding success. I commend Mr. Lee and his team for the robust legacy they have so tirelessly built over the years,” said Gaetsaloe.


Current Managing Director, Anthony Lee explained that his management team has largely been responsible for driving the growth and profitability of TH through prioritizing the building of strong customer relationships, quality service delivery and maintaining effective cost-management systems.


When officiating at the event, the Minister of Investment Trade & Industry (MITI) Ms Bogolo Kenewendo, said her ministry continues to be committed to moving Botswana through sustainable industries by creating a conducive environment for local and foreign investment. She hailed the partnership saying it will go a long way in benefiting the country, bringing a variety of opportunities within the transport and logistics industry.


“This is clear indication of what we can do when we drive proactivity and collaboration between the public and private sectors. We must fully harness the potential of our people and our land, and today is a testament saying that indeed we can do so successfully. As a nation we all can be in the business of delivering dreams as Transport Holdings is in their unique profession," she said.


On the other hand Gaetsaloe reiterated that BDC’s strengthened partnership with TH through this transaction will allow Botswana a variety of opportunities to reap from.  He explained that as Transport Holdings now strives to spread its wings competitively in Africa like many Botswana based companies, locals stand to benefit from emerging employment opportunities as well as Botswana benefiting from more fiscal revenue and value chain business opportunities that may arise from support industries across the logistic business.


He pointed out that for more opportunities to emerge to boost local employment more resources would be needed to drive production and introduce more market-relevant services adapted to the local industry. “We will also witness a proudly Botswana-business become a pan-African operation and see the exporting of Botswana’s business culture to external markets whilst attracting investors to our economy. This successful buyout is by-all-means a great win for Botswana,” he said.


Furthermore, Gaetsaloe said: “Given the narrow structure of our economy and the size of our population – a regional play – like the one exhibited by TH, is a major growth opportunity for Botswana companies and BDC stands ready to support those business that are ready and brave enough, and competitive enough to expand outside Botswana. We need more success stories of expansions outside Botswana and we stand ready to fund these projects.


This year we anticipate that we will disburse close to P700m to new projects. This will create much needed stimulus to the economy, further push our industrialization agenda, and build pan-African businesses. We are even more excited this we can do this with citizen owned businesses such as TH. Gaetsaloe said the second goal is to invest in the continent. He pointed out that Africa is an exciting place to be right now and analysts, investors, and economists have all remarked, “Ignore Africa at your peril.”

“We believe that Africa is our “back-yard” and have taken a deliberate strategy to invest across Africa.”
 

In his words, Gaetsaloe shared, “With GDP growth rates ranging from 5% to as high as 8.3% (in countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal) and boasting populations that exceed 180m (in places such as Nigeria), serious business people looking for growth and new markets must look at the region and the continent. And the time is now. As an A-Rated government and with BDC’s own investment grade rating of Baa2 – we can export highly competitive financial services and products and do so profitably and sustainably. This is one of our competitive advantages as a country and as BDC.”


Through its clearing, forwarding, warehousing, and transportation arms, TH offers a full spectrum of services across all its 4 subsidiaries. With 100 trucks and an eye set of the regional market BDC’s new catch looks forward to many years of successful partnership as we open-up trade and transportation routes and deliver services and goods across borders.

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