Wholly owned women-owned investment holding company, Kutana Group, is putting its recent acquisitions in the steel sector – Steeledale and Saint Gobain Pipelines – to work to deliver on an investment strategy that’s linked to the development of infrastructure and mining.
Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe, CEO and founding member of Kutana, says the group takes a long-term view of the potential for growth in infrastructure, development and mining in South Africa, while investing in the steel and industrial manufacturing sectors whose fortunes are closely aligned with infrastructural development.
“Investment for infrastructure development is a crucial part of raising South Africa’s growth rate. It is at the centre of achieving sustainable, socially cohesive and growth oriented development and transformation.
“We invest in companies alongside their management teams and staff as we believe in entrepreneurial businesses with a culture for driving growth. Our view is that all the staff in the business should share in this growth,” said Mokgosi-Mwantembe.
“By taking these businesses out of large corporates we can drive a more entrepreneurial culture, transformation and growth by empowering the staff.”
In August 2016, Kutana Group acquired a 70% stake in Steeledale, a steel reinforcing and mesh business from publicly-listed Aveng. More recently, the group bought Saint Gobain Pipelines from global industrial giant, Compagnie de Saint Gobain.
Steeledale is a long-established business, that’s well-known in the industry as a solid operator with a strong management team and national branch network.
Saint Gobain Pipelines produces iron castings for industrial parts and cookware. Previously known as Besaans-du Plessis Foundry, the company has been manufacturing cast iron products for the building and civil construction industry since 1946. Following its acquisition by Kutana, the business has reverted to its original name and has been renamed Besaans.
“Given its established customer base, we plan the use the distribution network developed by Besaans as a key strategic pillar in terms of Kutana’s industrial and steel growth strategy,” said Mokgosi-Mwantembe.
“South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa are being held back by a significant infrastructure deficit that negatively impacts competitiveness. The business we’ve acquired in the steel sector are ideally suited to playing a role in the development of efficient infrastructure.”