The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, will see the fund assuming 100 percent ownership of the funeral business, which boasts of 25 branches countrywide.
The move by the fund, which is headed by former Old Mutual boss, Johannes !Gawaxab, will see him resuming his flirtation with the insurance sector through the acquisition as the company also offers funeral policies. “The transaction is pending approval from the Namibian Competition Commission, upon which AVBOB Namibia will become a wholly owned Namibian company. AVBOB was established in 1962 in Namibia and has since grown into the leading funeral service provider. Most branches have full parlours for clients and their own mortuaries. Through its network, AVBOB also distributes third party funeral policies,” says Eos Capital Managing Partner, !Gawaxab.
!Gawaxab adds that the fund aims to recapitalise the business as part of efforts to improve its service offering. “Eos Capital will inject capital and provide business acumen to support the growth strategy of AVBOB, to improve the performance and offering of AVBOB, Namibianise the business and provide comfort, dignity and excellence when loved ones are celebrating life,” he says. “It’s business as usual and assured that our commitment to all stakeholders – customers, employees and the society at large – is not affected. We have every intention to be the leading provider of funeral services in Namibia.”
He said on completion of the transaction, the business will be rebranded.
“We are Namibianising the business so its identity should reflect the identity and aspirations of Namibians,” he said.
The Avbob deal comes as Eos continues with its acquisition spree funded by a N$460 million war chest, amid media reports the company is also completing the acquisition of Valvo Pipes.
To date the fund is invested in Heat Exchange Products (HEP) and Namibia Aqua Mechanica (NAM), both players in the water sector; Elso Holdings, a local manufacturer of cleaning liquids and powders, tissue paper products and cleaning equipment; Panel To Panel Insulated Panel Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd, a 35 percent stake in Fabupharm, a pharmaceutical manufacturer and Welwitchia Private School, among others.
Last year the fund manager partnered with international firm, Phoenix Infrastructure, to set up the Investment Development and Investment Company (IDICON), which will finance infrastructure projects in Namibia, with a targeted funding capacity of up to N$1.5 billion.
The fund’s focus is on supporting infrastructure projects in the public services, energy, water, education and healthcare.
Eos Capital’s Allegrow Fund mandate is investing in companies, which have the potential for rapid growth through the right capital and strategic support, while providing equity, debt and mezzanine finance to fast growing unlisted Namibian businesses.