Shareholders of Waco International Limited (“Waco”) today announced the sale of Waco to a consortium led by Ethos Private Equity, for an undisclosed sum. Other key shareholders in the consortium are management, RMB Ventures, and Standard Bank. Kagiso Strategic Investments retain their 25% shareholding in Waco Africa.

Waco is a leading industrial services business in South Africa, Australasia and the UK, providing forming, shoring and scaffolding services, as well as relocatable modular buildings, and sanitation solutions. Waco has been private equity-owned since 2000. This latest transaction follows the successful sale in 2011 of the group’s Australasian relocatable modular building business, Ausco Modular.

Stephen Goodburn, Waco Group CEO said:

“I am very excited about this transaction. The change of ownership brings a number of benefits to the group, including strong shareholders who are willing to support our growth agenda, improved Black Economic Empowerment credentials, a robust capital structure, a refreshed commitment to the business by key executive management, and a return to South Africa for our holding company.”

Stuart Mackenzie, partner at Ethos Private Equity said:

“Ethos is excited to be investing in this market leading group. Waco’s businesses have been built up over many years and have strong brands that are founded on a reputation for excellent customer service. The group is managed by a seasoned management team and we are looking forward to partnering them in growing the business to an even more substantial industrial services group.”

Nick Hudson, a senior transactor at RMB Ventures said:

“With its leading market positions and strong cash generation ability, we consider Waco a very attractive, long-term investment opportunity. The group’s large asset base gives it tremendous scalability when economic conditions improve.”

The Waco group comprises: Waco Africa (with four divisions: Form-Scaff, SGB-Cape, Sanitech, and Abacus Space Solutions); Waco UK; Waco Kwikform (Australia), and; Form-Scaff Chile. These businesses have been providing essential services in their markets in excess of 60 years in some instances, and form an integral part of maintenance and infrastructure roll-out expenditure programmes, including: dams, bridges, power stations, petrochemical plants, mines, schools, hospitals, sanitation plants, shopping centres and office blocks.

Waco earns its revenues primarily through its rental businesses. The hiring of equipment provides a more predictable stream of income and cash flow than Waco typically generates from its sales businesses. Over the last few years, the group has successfully forged inroads into sub-Saharan Africa and sustaining this growth momentum is a key management focus.

Goodburn emphasised that:

“Our private equity partners have positioned Waco’s balance sheet to ensure that we are able to fund continued growth. Over and above organic growth, Waco now has the ability to finance key targeted acquisitions. Besides this, as always, our focus will be on providing excellent service to all of our customers, ensuring that the work gets completed to the best possible standard and with the highest regards to safety standards.”

Standard Bank advised the acquiring consortium and arranged the acquisition funding required for the transaction.

Brian Marshall, Head: Leverage Finance, Corporate and Investment Banking commented:

“Standard Bank continues to partner and support the Waco team in the next phase of their journey and we are excited to see the introduction of Ethos and RMB Ventures to the group. Our advisory, structuring and financing teams developed and delivered the optimal solutions which provide the consortium with a solid platform from which to realise their growth ambitions.”

About Waco International

Waco is a leading industrial services business in South Africa, certain other sub-Saharan African countries, Australasia, Chile, and the UK, providing forming, shoring and scaffolding services, as well as relocatable modular buildings, and sanitation solutions. The group manufactures, hires and sells world-class products and also provides design skills, technical advice, contracting services and support to its customers in the mining and resource, infrastructure, industrial maintenance, construction, education, healthcare and entertainment event sectors.

Its divisions are comprised of Form-Scaff, SGB-Cape, Abacus Space Solutions, Sanitech, Waco Kwikform and Waco UK. Many of its brands have been in existence for more than 50 years.


About Ethos

Ethos Private Equity is a leading private equity fund manager in South Africa

Founded in 1984, Ethos has an unparalleled private equity record in South Africa.

With over 25 years of successful investing, our strategy is time-tested and proven across a range of economic and political cycles.

Ethos Private Equity is independently owned and managed by our investment professionals. As a management-driven private equity fund manager, Ethos’ interests are aligned with its stakeholders.

We make long-term investments into medium-to-large businesses in South Africa and selectively in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ethos is currently raising Fund VI, focusing mostly on control acquisitions and expansion capital in medium-to-large companies in South Africa and selectively in sub-Saharan Africa.

The majority of Ethos’ investors are leading local and global pension and retirement funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, and development financial institutions (DFIs).


About RMB Ventures

RMB Ventures is a mid-market South African private equity firm within the FirstRand Group. We have invested in over 40 transactions since the mid-1990s. Our strategy of investing alongside management teams in mid-market buy-outs has delivered a long and consistent track record of high returns on investment and prosperous growth for our portfolio companies.

Our team of eleven investment professionals has more than 60 years of combined private equity experience and aspires to sustain FirstRand’s entrepreneurial foundation—Traditional values. Innovative ideas.


About Standard Bank

Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets and earnings. We operate in 18 countries on the African continent, including South Africa, and 13 countries outside Africa with an emerging market focus

Africa is at our core and we will continue to build first-class on-the-ground banks. The group has more than 1 200 branches on the African continent and representation in key global financial centres.

The group’s 52 000 employees across all regions deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management. Standard Bank’s Corporate & Investment Banking division offers its clients banking, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services to connect selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other. It has specific global sectoral expertise, particularly in natural resources, with value propositions in: mining and metals; oil and gas; power and infrastructure; and telecoms and media.

Standard Bank Group had total assets of over R1 497-billion (about US$185 billion) at 31 December 2011 . Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 30 June 2012 was R182 billion (approximately $22.5 billion).

The group’s largest shareholder is Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.

Standard Bank Plc in London is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and is a member of the London Stock Exchange, the London Bullion Market Association, the London Metal Exchange, the London Platinum and Palladium Market and the New York Mercantile Exchange (COMEX Division).