DealMakers was first published in August 2000. The intention behind the publication has always been to record every transaction undertaken by all South African Stock Exchange-listed companies. The “sexy” area of attention in the corporate finance industry is in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) since this is where the big ticket projects are found.

It became increasingly clear, however, that other corporate finance business is also important – and, in periods when dealmaking declines, it is general corporate finance that provides an essential bread and butter underpin. These transactions – which include a wide range of activity such as financial or corporate restructurings, listings, share issues and repurchases, unbundlings and others – are collected and collated under the rubric General Corporate Finance. 

Formal notification of deals involving unlisted companies is not a regulatory requirement, other than to the Competition Commission (this is public information) and efforts are then made to bring the level of information up to that applying to listed companies. In many cases, however, the firms concerned decline to release important information (especially concerning value).

In 2006, Catalyst was introduced. The private equity magazine forms part of the quarterly DealMakers journal and takes a look at various aspects of private equity. Each issue includes a list of PE deals done in SA as well as the rest of Africa.

2008 saw the launch of DealMakers AFRICA. The challenge to create a similar set of tables and rankings to the SA results which covered the rest of the continent, took some time to achieve, but in February 2019, the first stand alone DealMakers AFRICA awards dinner was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

DealMakers is published quarterly, usually within six weeks of the end of the preceding quarter except in the case of the 4th Quarter which, together with the first three quarters, makes up the annual edition. This is published in February of each year and is released on the night of the Annual Gala Awards (attended each year by about 500 paying guests). The Annual edition includes the all-important rankings.