Home » Phuthuma Nhleko’s investment firm looks to sell stake in $3 billion Engen

Phuthuma Nhleko’s investment firm looks to sell stake in $3 billion Engen

by Omokolade Ajayi

A South African investment firm founded by Phuthuma Nhleko, is looking to sell a portion of its stake in Engen Petroleum, a South African oil company focused on the downstream refined petroleum products market and related businesses.

Phembani, a South Africa-based industrial holding company founded in 1994 by Nhleko with a focus on investing and operating businesses and interests in Africa’s oil, gas, minerals, and construction sectors, is Engen Petroleum’s second-largest shareholder.

If the proposed plan to sell a 26-percent stake in Engen is implemented, it will generate millions of dollars’ worth of value for Phembani and other entities associated with the investment firm.

This projection aligns with the implied valuation confirmed by sources close to Engen and Phmebani, which estimate the oil company’s value at up to $3 billion, with Phembani’s 26-percent stake valued at around $780 million.

While Phembani has approached potential buyers, including Royal Bafokeng Holdings, no final decision has been made, and neither party has issued an official statement about the proposed transaction.

With a focus on longer-term investments and building partnerships with fellow shareholders, Phembani prefers to be an active investor, and, in some cases, has operational control of its investments.

Nhleko, who led South African telecom company MTN Group as CEO and executive chairman from 2002 to 2019, played a key role in the growth of Phembani, as the investment firm now controls significant stakes in top-performing companies such as Engen, Afric Oil, Exxaro, BECSA, Phembani Coal Carolina, and AfriSam.

Engen owns 1,280 service stations and a 120,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Southern Africa. The Cape Town-based firm is majority-owned by Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional bhd, or Petronas, which has also explored a number of exit strategies, including an IPO.

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