JHI in 'mini BEE' deal

Posted On Monday, 08 November 2004 02:00 Published by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Herman Mashaba and Humphrey Khoza have bought 35% of JHI, one of SA's oldest and biggest property service companies, managing a portfolio worth R8-billion
By Ian Fife
 
Herman Mashaba, founder of the successful Black Like Me beauty business, and businessman Humphrey Khoza have bought 35% of JHI, one of SA's oldest and biggest property service companies, managing a portfolio worth R8-billion.

Mashaba and Khoza intend to be active partners, unlike Thebe, the more passive former shareholder.

But can they make a difference as minority shareholders in JHI, a 103-year-old family business? The biggest single shareholder is chairman Les Weil, who says he holds less than 30%. JHI executives hold the rest.

Mashaba and Khoza are likely to bring ideas to the company. But how do they get the established management out of its comfort zone?

"We are involving them because we are very receptive to change," says Weil. "We have never been scared of entrepreneurship. That's where JHI's opportunity lies."

Mashaba says he would like to see a black executive among top management at JHI. "But we don't want to push for that immediately," he says. "We have bought into an outstanding brand with excellent management. That's where our opportunity lies and we want to build on that."

Mashaba says he and Khoza do not see JHI as a vehicle to build property assets.

"At this stage it is a property service company we are buying into," says Mashaba.

SA's most recent property service empowerment deal was Gensec, the former Sanlam subsidiary. One of its new partners, marketing director Cura Chihota, says the JHI deal can work.

"It is what I call a mini BEE," he says. "The black investors get a minority interest valued accordingly and have the opportunity to work their way into control."

Financial Mail


Publisher: Financial Mail
Source: Financial Mail

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.