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2023 DealMakers Annual Awards

Date: Tuesday 13 February 2024

Venue: Ballroom, Sandton Convention Centre

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Headline Sponsor

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Deal of the Year

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BEE Deal of the Year

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Top Sponsors by Deal Value and Deal Flow

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Top Legal Advisers by Deal Value and Deal Flow

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Individual DealMaker of the Year

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Venue Sponsor

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Wine Sponsor

MC: Alan Committie

Entertainment: The Muses

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The 2023 DealMakers Annual Awards 

Brunswick Deal of the Year 2023

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Disposal by Life Healthcare of Alliance Medical Group to iCON Infrastructure

After receiving several unsolicited proposals from third parties to acquire its European diagnostic and molecular imaging business, Life Healthcare announced its disposal of AMG just seven years after its acquisition from funds managed by M&G Investments and Talbot Hughes McKillop. The deal, valued at c.R21bn (including debt) will unlock significant value for shareholders with the company set to return c.R8,4bn to shareholders by way of a special dividend.

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Local Advisers to the deal were:

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Catalyst Private Equity Deal of the Year 2023

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Exit by Carlyle Group of Tessara to AgroFresh 

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In 2018, Carlyle’s sub-Saharan Africa Fund acquired a majority stake in Cape-based Tessara. In 2023 the private equity firm exited its investment through a competitive auction process. AgroFresh is an AgTech innovator and global leader in post-harvest produce freshness and packaging solutions; Tessara specialises in SO2 generating sheets to prevent fungal decay and are sold in over 22 countries on five continents. During its tenure, Carlyle focused on strengthening Tessara’s R&D, new product innovation and on expanding the capacity of its manufacturing facilities.

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Local Advisers to the deal were:

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Exxaro BEE Deal of the Year 2023

Absa’s eKhaya B-BBEE transaction 

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In March 2023, Absa announced the implementation of an R11,2bn Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment deal allocating a 7% shareholding to staff and community beneficiaries. The deal is structured with a 4% evergreen Corporate Social Investment component (CSI Trust) and a 3% vesting staff element (ESOP). Staff employed by Absa’s subsidiaries outside of South Africa will participate equally in a cash-equivalent staff scheme, equivalent to about 1% of the Absa Group’s market capitalisation. The transaction will directly impact c.35,000 people employed by Absa and benefit a broader constituency across South Africa through the CSI Trust. 

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Local Advisers to the deal were:

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Business Rescue Transaction of the Year 2023

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Cast Products South Africa

Cast Products South Africa (CPSA), the largest foundry group in South Africa and 85% owned by the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), was placed in voluntary business rescue by its board in December 2021. In the four years until it was placed in business rescue, the company lost c.R1,7m, excluding the losses that accumulated after the IDC acquired Scaw Metals from Anglo American in 2010 as a result of pressure from escalating input costs, particularly electricity and scrap metal. The restructuring and restoration of solvency has been finalised, and the BRP’s are presently in the process of restructuring the Board and appointing a strategic management team to take the business forward. R1bn of liability has been restructured, the manufacturing capacity for South Africa has been retained, and corresponding jobs preserved under circumstances where the manufacturing industry is facing challenging economic times. 

Local Advisers to the deal were:

Ince Individual DealMaker of the Year 2023

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Ferdi Vorster (Rand Merchant Bank)


A member of the Rand Merchant Bank team, Ferdi advised Vivo Energy and Vitol on the acquisition of Engen from Petronas. He led the acquisition by Pick n Pay of Tomis and was involved as part of the RMB deal team that advised Life Healthcare on the sale of Alliance Medical, the buyout and delisting of Liberty Two Degrees, and RCL Foods’ sale of Vector Logistics to A.P. Møller Capital. Ferdi also worked on the sale of a 68.3% stake in Tanzanian-listed Tanga Cement by AfriSam to German multinational, Heidelberg Cement, first announced in 2021 – a deal that has taken numerous twists and turns over a few years, in terms of regulatory approvals. 

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Special Recognition Award 2023

Every now and then DealMakers will announce a SPECIAL RECOGNITION award for a deal or a company that it feels warrants recognition for any multitude of reasons. In 2023 there was one such deal.

The Independent Panel singled out this transaction for its importance for our wildlife. While not qualifying for Deal of the Year,
they believed that its impact, in terms of protecting the white rhino species, is commendable and worthy of special recognition.

In early 2023, African Parks announced that it would acquire the captive rhino breeding operation known as the Platinum Rhino
Conservation Enterprise (previously Buffalo Dream Ranch) from John Hume, a South African conservationist, and would relocate
and rewild over 2,000 captive-bred Southern white rhinos.

The team at African Parks, headed by CEO and co-founder, Peter Fearnhead, were away doing what they do best - saving our wildlife - so were unable to attend the event. Their legal representatives on the deal, CMS-RM Partners, accepted the award on their behalf.

Mergers & Acquisitions 2023

Investment Advisers by Deal Value

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Platinum Medal Award for 1st place

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1st by Deal Value - Rand Merchant Bank

2nd by Deal Value - Standard Bank

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3rd by Deal Value - Goldman Sachs

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4th by Deal Value - Investec Bank

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Investment Advisers by Deal Flow

Platinum Medal Award for 1st place

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1st by Deal Flow - Java Capital

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2nd by Deal Flow - tie Standard Bank | Nedbank CIB

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4th by Deal Flow - tie Rand Merchant Bank | Investec Bank

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Sponsors by Deal Value

1st by Deal Value - Absa CIB

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Top Sponsors by Deal Value and Deal Flow

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2nd by Deal Value - PSG Capital

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3rd by Deal Value - Investec Bank

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4th by Deal Value - J.P. Morgan

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Sponsors by Deal Flow

1st by Deal Flow - Nedbank CIB

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Top Sponsors by Deal Value and Deal Flow

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2nd by Deal Flow- Java Capital

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3rd by Deal Flow - Investec Bank

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4th by Deal Flow - PSG Capital

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Legal Advisers by Deal Value

1st by Deal Value - Bowmans

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Top Legal Advisers by Deal Value and Deal Flow

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2nd by Deal Value - Webber Wentzel

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3rd by Deal Value - ENS

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4th by Deal Value - Werksmans

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Legal Advisers by Deal Flow

1st by Deal Flow - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

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Top Legal Advisers by Deal Value and Deal Flow

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2nd by Deal Flow - ENS

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3rd by Deal Flow - Webber Wentzel

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4th by Deal Flow - White & Case 

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Transactional Support Services by Deal Value

1st by Deal Value - Deloitte

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2nd by Deal Value - BDO

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3rd by Deal Value - PwC

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4th by Deal Value - EY

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Transactional Support Services by Deal Flow

1st by Deal Flow - Deloitte

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2nd by Deal Flow - tie BDO | EY

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4th by Deal Flow - PwC

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Black Economic Empowerment 2023

(Listed and Unlisted Deals)

Legal Advisers 

1st by Deal Value and Flow - ENS

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Unlisted Deals 2023

Legal Advisers 

1st by Deal Value and Flow - Webber Wentzel

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General Corporate Finance 2023

Investment Advisers by Transaction Value

1st by Transaction Value - Rand Merchant Bank

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2nd by Transaction Value - Morgan Stanley

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3rd by Transaction Value - Goldman Sachs

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Investment Advisers by Transaction Flow

1st by Transaction Flow - tie PSG Capital | Investec Bank

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3rd by Transaction Flow - tie Morgan Stanley | Java Capital

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Sponsors by Transaction Value

1st by Transaction Value - Investec Bank

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2nd by Transaction Value - Rand Merchant Bank

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3rd by Transaction Value - J.P. Morgan

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Sponsors by Transaction Flow

1st by Transaction Flow - PSG Capital

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2nd by Transaction Flow - Investec Bank

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3rd by Transaction Flow - Java Capital

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Legal Advisers by Transaction Value

1st by Transaction Value - Webber Wentzel

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2nd by Transaction Value - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

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3rd by Transaction Value - ENS

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Legal Advisers by Transaction Flow

1st by Transaction Flow - Webber Wentzel

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2nd by Transaction Flow - ENS

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3rd by Transaction Flow - ENS

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Transactional Support Services by Transaction Value

1st by Transaction Value - EY

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2nd by Transaction Value - PwC

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3rd by Transaction Value - KPMG

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Transactional Support Services by Transaction Flow

1st by Transaction Flow - PwC

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2nd by Transaction Flow - BDO

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3rd by Transaction Flow - 7 firms tied

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