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Ex-Vodacom Manager Is Said to Plan Tech Investment Firm IPO

Loni Prinsloo
Ex-Vodacom Manager Is Said to Plan Tech Investment Firm IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Former Vodacom Group Ltd. executive Romeo Kumalo has started a tech-focused South African investment firm and aims to raise as much as $200 million in an initial public offering next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Kumalo, who led Vodacom’s international business until 2016, has teamed up with fellow South African business veterans including banker Michael Jordaan to start the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t yet public.

The firm, called LLH Capital Ltd., aims to invest in internet-related businesses and industries such as drones and car tracking, they said. Along with a joint listing in Johannesburg and Mauritius, LLH plans to raise a further $250 million to $300 million for a deals fund, said one of the people.

A representative of LLH Capital declined to comment on the matter.

Investor sentiment is picking up in South Africa after President Cyril Ramaphosa committed to reversing years of economic stagnation and policy uncertainty under predecessor Jacob Zuma. Still, a successful listing for LLH in 2019 would follow a subdued year for South African IPOs.

Glass packaging maker Consol Holdings Ltd. scrapped a plan to sell shares in April due to low investor demand, while Libstar Holdings Pty Ltd. sold stock at the bottom of its price range and has declined 42 percent since its debut. Quilter Plc has slumped 11 percent since its spinoff from Old Mutual Ltd. in June.

Since leaving Vodacom, Kumalo, 46, has publicly pushed efforts to spread the country’s wealth more equally between the black majority and the white minority, who still own most of the economy 24 years after the end of apartheid.

To contact the reporter on this story: Loni Prinsloo in Johannesburg at lprinsloo3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, John Bowker, Thomas Pfeiffer

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