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Our History

A Short Overview

The Phembani Group maintains a focus on the Sub-Saharan African mineral resources,
energy and infrastructure industries.

In the early years, (1994 – 2004), our strategy was to pursue investment opportunities arising from the advent of democracy in South Africa. The result – a diverse range of investments across a wide variety of sectors.
However, in the mid 2000’s Phembani made a conscious decision to change our approach and made a number of divestments to focus our investment strategy on the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Phembani is an active investor and in some instances has operational control of its investments. This is relatively uncharacteristic of the BEE investment arena and this approach affords Phembani the ability to contribute to both strategic and operational matters, where necessary.

Phembani’s strategy is to seek out a limited number of larger investments where it will have the ability to meaningfully influence the strategy formulation and execution of that strategy in our investee companies.

Our History

A short overview













Establishment of

Previously known as Worldwide African Investment Holdings.

Acquires Afric Oil

Phembani acquires a 51% interest in the newly created Afric Oil.

Acquires stake
in Zenex Oil

Phembani acquires a controlling stake in Zenex Oil, an independent oil company.

Phembani acquires the remaining 49% in Afric Oil.

Acquires a Stake
in Engen Limited

Phembani acquires a 20% stake in Engen.

As part of the transaction, Phembani disposed of its interest in Zenex to Engen.

Engen acquires a 45% stake in Afric Oil.

Disposes of
Minority Stake

Phembani disposes of it’s minority stake in Alexander Forbes Limited.

A New Energy Strategy

Phembani embarks on a new focused energy strategy, acquiring a 51% interest in Imbani Coal (now Phembani Coal Carolina) and then a further 32.7%.

Phembani provided funding to Eyabantu Capital Consortium which acquired an effective 5% stake in Exxaro.

Increases Stake
in PCC

Phembani acquires an additional 9.9% shareholding in PCC, taking the effective interest to 93.6%.

Increases Stake
in Afric Oil

Phembani acquires Engen‘s stake in Afric Oil.

AfriSam & SOUTH32

Phembani acquires a significant interest in the debt of AfriSam, with the intention of converting into equity.

Phembani acquires an effective 6.0% interest in SOUTH32.


Consensual restructure of AfriSam announced. Phembani converts debt into 30.5% in AfriSam.

Phembani Group concludes a shareholder restructure.

Negotiations with Shanduka

In November 2014, Phembani re-opened high-level negotiations with Shanduka Group’s majority shareholders, regarding the possibility of a merger of the respective entities’ assets, other than a few select investments in Shanduka.

The proposed transaction would enable Mr Cyril Ramaphosa (South African Deputy President) to exit his business interest in Shanduka to focus on his responsibilities in the SA Government.

Phembani and Shanduka engaged in the process of finalising definitive agreements which was followed by the submission of the appropriate regulatory approvals.

Merger with Shanduka

Phembani and Shanduka concluded the first phase of transaction agreements in June, phase II concluded in December and the deal was implemented that month.

The vision is to create a black controlled, pan-African industrial holdings Group with, amongst others, a leading role in the natural resources, infrastructure and industrial sectors.

Post-merger, the merged entity would have approximately 28 investments and R8bn in assets in the combined portfolio.

The merged entity would have the balance sheet scale and capacity that will provide a platform for exciting new growth opportunities for shareholders, investee companies, employees and its broader stakeholders.

The merged black controlled entity has a pipeline of exciting opportunities across chosen sectors on the African continent.

Read more on Shanduka’s history.