Deal of the Year

DealMakers Annual Gala Awards

At the end of each year, DealMakers calls on the corporate finance industry to submit their nominations for Deal of the Year.

With the assistance of the independent panel, and taking into account the number of nominations each deal has received, a shortlist of 3 - 5 deals is announced. 

These deals are then evaluated by the Independent Panel and they select a winner based on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to:

The transformational aspects of the deal   |   The execution complexity   |   The deal size   |   The potential value creation of the deal 

2020 Deal of the Year 

Gold Medal sponsored by


Altron demerger of Bytes Technology

In April 2020, Altron announced it was looking to demerge Bytes UK and to separately list it on the LSE with a secondary listing on the JSE. The decision was made to unlock value for shareholders as the UK business was identified as being materially undervalued when compared with its UK peer group. A minimum listing value of c.R9.4 billion was put in place by management who was willing to call off the listing if it did not achieve the price target. The company listed in December with a market capitalisation of R16,3 billion.

Local Advisers

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Mteto Nyati, Group Chief Executive | Altron

Other nominees for 2020 were:

Sasol disposal of a 50% stake in Lake Charles Chemicals Project 
The $2 billion (R33 billion) joint venture deal was part of Sasol’s plan to reduce debt, improve debt covenant compliance and enhance liquidity after a series of cost overruns and delays at its Lake Charles chemicals project were exacerbated by the collapse in the oil price and a global economic slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal cuts debt to $8 billion from $10 billion, gives the company an opportunity to stay in while shifting its portfolio toward specialty chemicals and increases its focus on an area where the company enjoys differentiated capabilities and strong market positions.

The local advisers to the deal were: Merrill Lynch, ENSafrica, PwC, KPMG and Deloitte.

The Foschini Group’s acquisition of JET 
Edcon, the owner of value retailer JET filed for administration in May 2020 after losing R2 billion in sales as a result of SA’s lockdown restrictions. The R480 million cash deal sees The Foschini Group (TFG) acquire 382 select stores across SA, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini and take on 4,800 of its staff. The deal gives TFG a significant entry into an increasingly important value retail sector, at scale and at an attractive price which would have been costly and difficult to replicate organically. 

The local advisers to the deal were: Rand Merchant Bank, UBS, ENSafrica, EY and Matuson Associates.  

Tongaat Hulett’s disposal of its starch division to Barloworld
The announced R5,35 billion February 2020 acquisition for Barloworld was in line with its focus to transform its investment portfolio to focus on Industrial Services and Consumer Foods as key verticals. However in May and again in August, as a result of the impact on company earnings of COVID-19 and the strict lockdown, Barloworld issued a MAC (Material Adverse Change) notice to Tongaat, increasing the complexity of the transaction. The final determination was that a MAC had not occurred and the deal was closed at the end of October. The disposal price was adjusted to R5,26 billion.

The local advisers to the deal were: PwC Corporate Finance, Absa CIB, Nedbank CIB, Bowmans, DLA Piper, Webber Wentzel, Rothschild & Co, Java Capital and Deloitte.

2019 Deal of the Year 

Gold Medal sponsored by


Acquisition of Pioneer Foods by PepsiCo

The R23,63 billion transaction, one of PepsiCo’s largest acquisitions outside the US, is a vote of confidence in the South African economy. PepsiCo intends to use SA as a hub for expansion throughout Africa. Through PepsiCo’s global footprint, Pioneer Foods will have access to new markets and the opportunity to improve its ability to compete more effectively on the African continent and beyond.

Watch the interview with Brunswick's Rob Pinker at the event

Other nominees for 2019 were:

Acquisition of Clover Industries by Milco Consortium

The R4,8 billion all-cash offer by the global investment consortium with strong local partners, aims to deliver and unlock growth, impacting not only the local dairy industry but also on the dairy industry across Africa. Milco is a key differentiator in today’s challenging business environment with access to international brands and know-how, connections and operating experience in sub-Saharan business. 

The local advisers on the transaction were: Rand Merchant Bank, Nedbank CIB, Werksmans, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Bernadt Vukic Potash & Getz, ENSafrica, Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa, Webber Wentzel and PwC.

Impala Platinum’s acquisition of North American Palladium

The acquisition of the Canadian-based primary platinum group metal producer valued at R11,4 billion, is in line with Implat’s strategy to reduce costs and streamline operation in order to improve its competitiveness in the global market. The transaction minimises the Group’s reliance on SA for the bulk of its revenues.

The local advisers on the transaction were: Macquarie Advisory and Capital Markets South Africa, Nedbank CIB, Baker McKenzie and Webber Wentzel.

Naspers’ unbundling and listing of Prosus

The two-step transaction by Naspers, one of several over the past few years, formed part of its strategy to reduce sum of the parts (SOTP) discount. The unbundling and listing of Prosus on the Euronext Amsterdam and the JSE (with an opening market capitalisation on the JSE of R1,95 trillion) created the largest consumer internet company in Europe, providing a significantly broader set of investors with direct access to its unique portfolio of high-growth international internet assets. 


The local advisers on the transaction were: For the unbundling - Morgan Stanley, Investec Bank, Webber Wentzel and Glyn Marais. For the listing – Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Global Markets, Investec Bank, Webber Wentzel, Glyn Maris and PwC.

2018 Deal of the Year 

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Sam Riley - Ansarada, Neal Froneman - Sibanye-Stillwater, Ingrid Johnson - Old Mutual, Itumeleng Mahabane - Brunswick and Marylou Greig - DealMakers

The Managed Separation of Old Mutual Plc

Advisers to the Deal


Gold Medal Award


Other Nominees for 2018:​

Naspers' $10 billion (R116 billion) accelerated bookbuild of Tencent

Sanlam's acquisition of the remaining 53.4% stake in SAHAM Finances

Vodacom's R16,4 billion B-BBEE ownership transaction


2017 Deal of the Year 

Vodacom acquisition of an indirect 34.94% stake in Safaricom

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Arie Maree (Ansarada), Marina Bidoli (Brunswick), Sainesh Vallabh  (Vodacom), Nadya Bhettay (Vodacom), Colin Coleman (Goldman Sachs), Neal Froneman (Sibanye-Stillwater), Willem Baars (Goldman Sachs) and Till Streichert (Vodacom)

Advisers to the deal:

Financial Advisers: Goldman Sachs; UBS

Independent Expert: Deloitte

Sponsors: Nedbank CIB

Legal Advisers: ENSafrica; Webber  Wentzel; Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Reporting Accountants: PwC  

Gold Medal Award


Other Nominees for 2017:​

Barclays sell down of Barclays Africa

Distell restructure

Firstrand's acquisition of Aldermore

2016 Deal of the Year 

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Acquisition by Sibanye Gold of Stillwater Mining

Advisers to the deal:

Financial Advisers: Citigroup Global Markets; HSBC Bank plc; Quinsele Resources; BofA Merrill Lynch

Sponsors : JPMorgan 

Legal Advisers: ENSafrica; Linklaters; Jones Day; Hollard & Hart

Reporting Accountants: KPMG

Arie Maree (Ansarada), Bryony Watson (Sibanye Gold), Charl Keyter (Sibanye Gold) and Marina Bidoli (Brunswick)

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Gold Medal Award

Other Nominees for 2016:​

Bidvest / Bidcorp unbundling

Pick 'n Pay pyramid unwind

Merger of new Europa Property Investments and Rockcastle Global Real Estate

2015 Deal of the Year 

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Samuel Pearson (Standard Bank), Neal Froneman (Sibanye Gold), Natalie Di-Sante (Standard Bank) and Stephen Dearing (Ansarada)

Acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev of SABMiller


Advisers to the deal:

Financial Advisers : Standard Bank; Deutsche Bank; JPMorgan; Goldman Sachs International; Lazard; BNP Paribas; Merrill Lynch International; Robey Warsaw; JPMorgan Cazenove; Morgan Stanley

Sponsor : JPMorgan

Legal Advisers : Bowman Gilfillan; Webber Wentzel; ENSafrica; Freshfields Bruckhause Deringer; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Clifford Chance; Linklaters; Hogan Lovells International; Hogan Lovells US; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Gold Medal Award

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Other Nominees for 2015:​

Acquisition by Sibanye Gold of Aquarius platinum

Reverse takeover by Mediclinic of Al Noor Hospitals 

Acquisition by Sibanya Gold of the Amplats Rustenburg operations

Acquisition by Oceana of Daybrook Fisheries

2014 Deal of the Year 

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Acquisition by Woolworths of David Jones


Financial Advisers:

Rothschild, Standard Bank


Rand Merchant Bank, Standard Bank

Legal Advisers:

Webber Wentzel, Linklaters, Gilbert + Tobin

Reporting Accountant:

Ernst & Young

Advisers to the deal:

Arie Maree (Ansarada), Ian Moir (Wooloworths), Daryl Wray (Cell C) and Charl Keyter (Sibange Gold)

Gold Medal Award

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Other Nominees for 2014:​

Standard Bank's disposal of a 60% stake in Standard Bank Plc to ICBC

Growthpoint's acquisition of Acucap

Vodacom's acquisition of Neotel

Exxaro Resources' acquisition of TCSA

Sun International's acquisition of an additional stake in Monticello

Northam Platnuim's BEE deal

Steinhoff's acquisition of Pepkor

Creation of Coco-Cola Beverages Africa