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Brainworks eyes more advisory deals

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PRIVATE equity investment and advisory firm Brainworks Capital says it will continue seeking value creative investment and advisory opportunities buoyed by works in the BancABC-Atlas Mara deal.

BUSINESS REPORTER

Brainworks acted as advisors when Atlas Mara — co-founded by Bob Diamond and Ashish Thakkar — acquired a controlling shareholding in pan-African banking group, BancABC.

“The advisory business opportunities also look promising and the closure of the Atlas Mara acquisition of a majority stake in ABCH [African Banking Corporation Holdings] is testimony of this,” Brainworks said in its interim results.

Brainworks said its strategy of co-investing with strong international operating partners was showing “significant signs of success as we are gradually seeing a growth in profitability in our investee companies, particularly in our commercial banking and consumer finance businesses”.

The company has 29,4% shareholding in Ecobank Zimbabwe, a local commercial bank. Other shareholders of the bank are Togo-headquartered Ecobank Transnational International (70%) and Ecobank Share Trust (0,6%).

In the six months to June, Ecobank Zimbabwe saw its net operating income growing by 14% on the back of increased trade finance activities, reduced cost of funds and an increased customer base driven by a wider network of branches and ATMs.

The bank also benefited from credit lines worth $28 million from within the Ecobank Group.

Brainworks has 40% in consumer finance company, GetBucks Financial Services Zimbabwe Limited. GetBucks’ other shareholders are GetBucks Limited (55%) and Brainworks Nominees with a 5% stake.

Brainworks said efforts to turn around the hospitality and real estate businesses in its portfolio were underway and the company was expecting positive results.

Through Lengrah Investments, Brainworks has 43,55% in hospitality group African Sun.

It indirectly holds 30% in Dawn Properties.

In its interim financial report, Brainworks generated revenue of $3,26 million from advisory fees, dividends, interest income, share of associate income and logistics revenue. This was up from $1,3 million in the comparable period in 2013.

Profit before tax of $1,2 million was up from a loss of $44 473 in the comparable period in 2013.

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