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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Jan 2015

BEE: Ascendis Health Announces R140 Million Empowerment Deals


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Ascendis Health is pleased to announce that it has successfully concluded two separate BBBEE deals to the combined value of R140 million with prominent BEE investment partners WDB Investment Holdings Proprietary Limited (WDBIH) and Senatla Capital Proprietary Limited. The structured deals, together with its previous deal concluded with MIC Investment Holdings Proprietary Limited in June this year, as well as the direct investment of WDB will see Ascendis increase its BBBEE ownership up from the current 7% to over 15% over the next three years with combined deals totalling R390 million over the last 6 months.

 Ascendis CEO, Dr Karsten Wellner comments, “We are extremely excited about the conclusion of both deals as they show our commitment to our role as a corporate citizen in South Africa, while at the same time ensuring the ongoing success of our dynamic Pharma-Med Division by placing us in a strong position to service contracts for hospitals and clinics and participate in government tenders, especially with the government committing huge investments in preparation of the implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme.”

The agreements present a further favourable outcome for Ascendis shareholders in that they were structured through issuing of shares at a Coast2Coast (C2C) level (majority shareholder in Ascendis), and not by way of a fresh issue of shares, resulting in zero dilution of Ascendis shares for other shareholders and with costs of the deal borne exclusively by C2C.

WDBIH is a private enterprise which was formed in 1996 with its major beneficiary and shareholder being the WDB Trust, whose beneficiaries are a broad-base of rural women and communities. To date, WDB has repatriated over R150 million to the WDB Trust to fund various development programs focussing on the social and economic upliftment of rural women and households. WDBIH’s investment mandate is to invest in high-growth sectors in South Africa and Africa, where it can generate capital growth as well as access to dividends.

Senatla Capital is a private equity investment manager that is 100% Black owned.  In its two funds, Senatla Capital focuses on investments in Growth Capital, Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”) Secondaries and Equity Risk Capital.  Since its founding in 2010, Senatla Capital has made investments in Energy, Financial Services, Media and Health Care. Senatla Capital has over the past 4 years accumulated assets under management exceeding R350 million and is currently raising additional capital in its second fund.

Dr Wellner concludes, “We clearly view direct BEE ownership as a prerequisite for responsible and sustainable growth in South Africa, especially for a listed company and as a result we are confident that this transaction will present long-term benefit to all Ascendis shareholders. Ascendis is committed to improving its BEE status and transforming the company into an establishment which recognises its social responsibility as a committed South African corporate citizen. Accordingly, Ascendis intends to increase its BBBEE equity structure with further deals of similar size and structure in the near future.”

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