Imara, the pan African financial services outfit, received shareholder go-ahead in Gaborone on Thursday for the implementation of a unique Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) model to entrench the rapid growth of its South African interests.
The partnership with recently formed South African company, Zingwenya Holdings Limited, which will result in a 20 percent empowerment shareholding in Imara’s South African businesses, was ratified at the group’s Annual General Meeting in Gaborone.
The Group CEO, Mark Tunmer, said a lengthy partner selection process had culminated in the creation of a consortium assembled proactively by Imara once the “ideal investors and future contributors” had been individually identified.
The R51 million transaction with Zingwenya will be complemented by a broad-based empowerment Trust, details of which are expected to be announced shortly. Once arrangements to set up the Trust have been finalized, BEE ownership in the Imara South Africa group companies will be 25 percent plus one share. The BEE transaction will have no impact on the shareholder structure of Imara Holdings Limited, which is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange.
“Discussions with existing consortia came to nothing,” said Tunmer. “But we knew there were highly qualified individuals in the South African market who would add value.
“We decided that instead of courting an existing consortium, we would concentrate on key personalities first and then bring them together to form a team who we knew would make a strong contribution both as individuals and as a group.
“This unique approach worked extremely well, enabling us to develop a value-enhancing partnership based on solid commercial principles that give incentives to all parties to further accelerate the exciting growth being achieved by our South African businesses.”
The Botswana registered and listed Imara group commenced South African operations in 2003, and has gone from strength to strength in Stock Broking, Asset Management and Corporate Finance.
“We are confident that the Zingwenya consortium will add significant impetus to our growth and plans for South Africa,” Tunmer said.