Moshe Capital spreads its wings

Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The all woman-led and -owned advisory and investment firm Moshe Capital has been quietly expanding its global footprint. In September 2018 the company opened a satellite office in London and now the 100% black-owned company is finalising its first international acquisition. 

Although Moshe Capital could not disclose the name of the company pending the finalisation of the deal, CEO Mametja Moshe said this would be a milestone in the company’s long-standing goal to operate internationally.

“We always had a vision of being an SA company with the ability to comfortably play at a global level,” said Moshe.

Moshe said over the past five years, the company focused on building its track record, showing that its team can deliver  on its promises.

She says people are sometimes surprised when they see a team of black women leading the conversation. “You can’t miss us, especially in mining. When this group of knowledgeable, credible black women walks in, reactions can be amusing at times.”

Moshe and her business partner, Konosoang Asare-Bediako, are both former international investment bankers who are chartered accountants. Moshe hails from Limpopo while Asare-Bediako grew up in the Free State and Lesotho. The two founded Moshe Capital in 2013, initially as an advisory company overseeing mergers and acquisitions  of local and multinational companies, mostly in the mining sector.

The company started as a platform to advise young South African entrepreneurs who had prospecting rights but did not have capital to turn those into mining companies and ended up partnering with and eventually selling their stakes to mining giants.

 Moshe Capital has evolved, branching into investments with its first acquisition of a 5% stake in private equity firm Sanari Capital. Its second venture was a cable distribution company, Jaycor International.  It owns a 12.2% stake in Jaycor, which distributes specialised cables in sectors including oil and gas, mining, rail and technology. The third investment is the pending acquisition of a 33% stake in what Moshe described as “an internationally listed acquisition vehicle”.

All three acquisitions were concluded without raising capital by self-funding its stakes or acquiring them through vendor finance agreements.

“We don’t have a private equity fund. That was a conscious decision because we want to prove ourselves as investors. We are currently looking at raising some form of capital because we are now in a growth phase.”

While private equity companies usually stay invested in companies for about five years, for Moshe Capital, this is the minimum horizon. The company is still refining its investment strategy, including its preferred investment timeframes and how to fund future acquisitions.  But Moshe says their philosophy is to choose partners carefully.  The firm only partners with companies that they can grow to become large-scale, globally competitive players.

“Another key criterion is whether we see the potential to grow companies tenfold, using a model we developed alongside partners that have a track record in rapidly growing companies. We take a long-term view. We are willing to stay in investments longer to mature them from small to mid-cap companies and ultimately to global players,” said Moshe.

Moshe said her team preferred investing in founder-run businesses that have done well, but need to scale to the next phase. In addition to the pending acquisition and its London presence, Moshe Capital has also formed international strategic partnerships, one with UK boutique corporate finance company VSA Capital and another with global advisory firm Singular.

VSA Capital, which has expertise in raising capital, has a presence in China and the UK. Moshe Capital says this will enable it to partner with European and Chinese firms looking to invest in SA. Singular, on the other hand, has a presence in 40 countries where it provides strategy and investment consulting services.

“We love investing in South African companies, but attracting international investors into SA is even better. Ultimately, that’s our goal: to create black industrialists by investing in founder-run businesses and attracting international companies and capital partners,” said Moshe.