Johannesburg. 22nd April 2021: Imperial Logistics Ltd (Imperial), an African focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions, announced the sale of its South American shipping business as this is deemed as non-core to the organisation’s ‘Gateway to Africa’ strategy. This transaction follows the sale of Imperial’s European shipping operations announced in May 2020. BNP Paribas acted as M&A Advisor on both transactions.

“We are pleased to be the bank of choice and advise Imperial on its second strategic deal after finalising the sale of their European operations last year. The South American shipping operations in question were an attractive opportunity for many potential buyers approached by BNP Paribas. These operations have a relatively low emissions profile, as the goods are transported on waterways.” says Vikas Khandelwal, Head of Territory for BNP Paribas South Africa.

“Through our global expertise and extensive network, this transaction reinforces the depth and breadth of capabilities BNP Paribas offers clients in South Africa. This is demonstrated by our ongoing partnership with Imperial and despite the challenging economic backdrop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and difficult conditions globally,” continued Khandelwal.

The most recent transaction, completed on 16 April 2021, saw São Paulo-based Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. take control of the South American operations for a total cash consideration of USD 90 million which equates to a multiple of 9.6X FY2020 reported EBITDA. The enterprise value includes an earn-out component of up to USD 5 million, which is payable dependent on water levels over the 4-year period, commencing on 1 January 2021. The sale of Imperial’s European shipping operations in 2020 was to the value of EUR171 million.

“This second transaction emphasises Imperial’s strategic intent to become a ‘One Imperial’ business and serve as the ‘Gateway to Africa’ for its clients, principals, and customers,” said Mohammed Akoojee, Group CEO at Imperial. He added, “The sale of the South American shipping business follows the sale of the European shipping business, which was concluded on 31 July 2020. The remaining freight management and contract logistics operations within the international logistics business remain for sale and we are in the process of selling these, as announced at the group’s F2021 interim results on 23 February 2021.”

“Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. is well positioned to operate the business sustainably based on long-standing customer relationships and a highly skilled, experienced and motivated work force,” expanded Akoojee. “We believe that this is the most suitable home for the South American shipping business and its people.”

“This acquisition gives us a very important operational flexibility which will allow us to complement our navigation capacity and operate in regions where we currently do not access” said Fabio Schettino, Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. CEO.

This transaction’s proceeds will be used to optimise the financial position of Imperial, reducing its overall existing debt in the short-term and will be invested in new growth areas in line with the Group’s strategy in due course.

The regulatory SENS announcement that includes more information about the transaction is available on Imperial’s website

  • South Africa is one of over 30 countries to receive assistance from BNP Paribas’ 50 million EUR emergency support plan
  • The emergency support plan is aimed at providing local support for hospitals, vulnerable populations and young people globally
  • R 6.5 million committed to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund and number of local NGOs

BNP Paribas and its subsidiaries around the world have, from the outset of the global health crisis, mobilised to support hospital systems, medical research and institutions that help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. Actions in aid of communities are the priority of the emergency support plan, especially when deployed in the field, in support of medical professionals, NGOs and social services support associations that are at the forefront of seeking solutions to this healthcare and social crisis.

In South Africa, BNP Paribas and wholly owned subsidiary RCS have committed R 6.5 million to help with the national healthcare and social crisis caused by COVID-19, through the assistance of the BNP Paribas 50 million EUR emergency support plan.  The contribution will be directed to the South African Solidarity Fund, recently established by President Ramaphosa, in addition to a number of NGOs such as the Haven Night Shelter network and Afrika Tikkun.

Speaking about local support, Vikas Khandelwal, Head of Territory for BNP Paribas commented: “In April, BNP Paribas launched a 50 million EUR plan to help hospitals and vulnerable populations across more than 30 countries globally, in the context of the current global pandemic. As part of this plan, we are proud to mobilise funding in South Africa to assist those most affected by the crisis, help flatten the curve and support those whose lives have been substantially disrupted by the pandemic.”

Regan Adams, CEO RCS explained: “In addition to our commitment to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund, we also plan to assist NGOs such as the Haven Night Shelter and Afrika Tikkun, who are both providing support to local communities impacted by the pandemic. The Haven Night Shelter, a network of 15 homeless centres across the Western Cape, provides shelter and social welfare services to those in need, while Afrika Tikkun is distributing emergency relief supplies directly to some of the most vulnerable communities in South Africa including Alexandra, Diepsloot, Braamfontein, and Mfuleni’.

With a strong local presence globally, BNP Paribas teams have already been able to provide support, in the form of, grants to numerous local NGOs in Europe, Asia and Africa, various bank solidarity and insurance funds, and research via the Institut Pasteur in France.