By Gillian Tan – Wall Street Journal
South Africa’s Investec Ltd., which is restructuring its Australian arm and laying off a total of around 50 staff, will wind down its private equity portfolio as its seeks to shore up its balance sheet, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investec executive director Jon Brett will take on a part-time role working three days a week to wind down the portfolio, the people said. Before, Mr. Brett had been a full-time member of staff.
The bank’s remaining investments include a controlling stake in event services company Staging Connections, which reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 15.2 million Australian dollars (US$13.8 million), according to a 2012 investor presentation. It also owns a stake in ASX-listed telecommunications network Vocus Communications Ltd.
This year, the bank distributed its 25.4% stake in ASX-listed fabric manufacturer and distributor Gale Pacific Ltd., and a 8.9% stake in ASX-listed car-parking and property owner Ariadne Australia Ltd. to unitholders of its second private-equity fund. It has sold an 18% stake in luggage and retailer Strandbags, which also owns the Equip accessories brand. It also sold a 9.2% stake in Clearview Wealth Ltd. into a takeover offer by Crescent Capital Partners.