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IQ BUSINESS SELLS 31.2% BEE STAKE

Consortium leaders include Cheryl Carolus and Herman Mashaba

IQ Business Group had sold a 31.2 percent stake to a black empowerment consortium for an undisclosed amount, the unlisted technology company said yesterday.

The consortium includes businessman Herman Mashaba and former ambassador to the UK Cheryl Carolus.

IQ Business, which last year bought out its shareholders Nedbank, Investec and Hosken Consolidated Investments, has a turnover of R300 million and more than 500 employees.

Under the deal, Peotona Development, the non-profit development arm of Peotona, whose founders are Carolus, Wendy Lucas-Bull, Dolly Mokgade and Thandi Orleyn, will control 10 percent; Phatsima Technologies, led by Mashaba, the founder of Black Like Me beauty products, will own 11.2 percent; the Historically Disadvantaged South Africans Management Trust will have a 10 percent stake; and the rest will be remain in the hands of IQ’s management and private equity investors, including JSE listed Peregrine.

Dirk Ackerman, the chief executive of IQ Business, said the previous owners had exited the company to give it an opportunity to seek broad-based black economic empowerment partners.

Carolus, who is Peotona’s chairman, said the objective of the deal was to expand IQ Business’s corporate social investment beyond the normal cash spent on such projects.

She said the beneficiaries of Peotona Development would not only get longer-term funding flow from the deal but also access to skills and business resources.

The deal includes IQ Business’s operations in Australia, South Africa, the UK and the US.

IQ Business was established in 1998, and its clients include the government and major banks.

Ackerman said that the US operation had enjoyed a growth in business of 185 percent in the past 18 months, while the Australian operation had been strengthened by organic growth and the acquisitions of Kl Pacific, an IBM partner, and a further 50 percent stake held by Mellon Bank in IQ Australia`s financial business services.

The South African business had secured several private and public sector contracts, which included contracts with the SA Revenue Service and the Bond Exchange of SA, he said.

Mashaba said the current size of the business presented growth potential in South Africa and internationally for the empowerment partners, adding that he hoped to “make money out of this investment”.

Phatsima’s other investments include Consolidated Power Projects, Aerosud Holdings, Claw Protection Services, Stocks Building Africa, JHI Real Estate and Leswikeng Minerals and Energy.

Peotona is part of the consortium that has bought a 26 percent stake in De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), which houses the diamond mining and trading giant’s South African operations, for R3.8 billion. Peotona will hold 8 percent of DBCM.

Source: Business Report – Thabiso Mochiko