Brait profits from buyouts

South African investment firm Brait’s results have benefitted from private equity activity, as competition increases in its domestic market with the arrival of large global firms.

Brait’s profits increased on the back of a 40.1 percent rise in takings at its private equity unit.

Brait’s operating profits were up 12 percent to $28.9 million (€19.9 million) from $25.8 million, in the six months up to 30 September, in comparison with the same period last year, according to the firm’s interim results.

Its private equity profits were up to $20.3 million from $14.4 million.

The rest of the sum was divided between $2.3 million from corporate finance, $2 million from specialised funds and $4.3 million from miscellaneous group investments.

The firm made a return on equity of 35.8 percent. Its dividend was up 14.7 percent to $0.09 per share. The firm’s net asset value stood at $1.80 per share, which was up 17.5 percent. The firm’s assets under management had also gone up 14.2 percent to $1.3 billion.

Last month Brait bought domestic baker Premier Foods from the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services for R1.5 billion ($215 million, €152 million).

South Africa has attracted sizable interest from global private equity houses, which have entered the market. A consortium led by Ethos Private Equity and Goldman Sachs bought Gold Reef Resorts, a casino operator, for R11.4 billion in September despite the liquidity problems in the global credit markets. This was Goldman’s first private equity investment in South Africa.

Brait’s fourth fund raised $937 million last year, while Ethos raised a $750 million fund at the same time.